Attention Bosses: There Are Right Ways and Wrong Ways to "Fire" an Employee

How "firings" used to be--employee pleading for his job

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Being the boss is never easy. And whomever said it was, lied. Oh, there are days that the boss can look back over his career when he was “just” an employee. And with hard work, dedication, and some sacrifice, he or she, “paid their dues,” and one day they received the promotion that (most) employees dream of, being the boss.

But the day will come that, for some reason, a boss will have to make a tough-decision: Firing an employee for a “laundry list” of reasons, and none of them come easy.

Bosses with hearts actually grieve more about letting an employee go than the employee him or herself because this dark day of firing this employee will either haunt the boss or it will give him or her some valuable management experience.

When you were fired, how did you handle it?

  • Normal
  • With anger
  • Vengeance
  • Happy to leave
See results without voting

Ugly scenes of being "fired"

Young man gets fired by tough boss.
Young man gets fired by tough boss. | Source
Cleaning-out the desk and finding a five-dollar bill you hid in here ten years ago.
Cleaning-out the desk and finding a five-dollar bill you hid in here ten years ago. | Source
Cutbacks account for a high number of firings each year in the United States.
Cutbacks account for a high number of firings each year in the United States. | Source
Employer "cuts the strings" with you working for them.
Employer "cuts the strings" with you working for them. | Source

Why some employees are terminated:

  • Unruly conduct.
  • Constantly being tardy for work.
  • Causing problems with other employees.
  • Not performing to the company’s satisfaction.
  • Unsatisfactory work.
  • Using drugs or alcohol that are forbidden in the workplace.

Of course there are more reasons, but these are mainly why an employee is terminated. (I used “terminated,” because “fired,” is too “old school,” and too harsh for today’s workforce).

There are, “Mr. and Ms. Boss in America,” a Right and Wrong Way to Fire an Employee.

These Are 5 Right Ways to Fire an Employee:

  1. Respect the employee – he or she is human. Although he or she may not be able to perform the tasks that you need. So if you have to terminate them, do it honorably. You do not want a former-employee leaving your company with a “bad taste in their mouth.”

  2. Do the firing – inside your office, not openly in-front of the other employees. Do not show your power as the boss at such a lowly-level as humiliating the ex-employee.

  3. Meeting with the employee – with a trained psychologist to ascertain if the employee will need grief counseling or not.

  4. Take the employee – to lunch. Then gently and respectfully tell him or her that their firing is nothing personal. And that you and the company will be glad to give them a letter of recommendation, a list of job leads and a good severance package.

  5. Allowing the – terminated employee to have some needed-time to say his or her farewell’s to coworkers who have been his or her family for many years.

More sad images of being "fired"

Businesswoman being fired.
Businesswoman being fired. | Source
Who in their right mind would fire a doll like this?
Who in their right mind would fire a doll like this? | Source
This is the same boy in one of the photos above. He was fired by his tough boss, now he is either happy about being unemployed or delirious about not being able to see "Hilda," the pretty Human Resources manager, but soon, he'll see her one more time
This is the same boy in one of the photos above. He was fired by his tough boss, now he is either happy about being unemployed or delirious about not being able to see "Hilda," the pretty Human Resources manager, but soon, he'll see her one more time | Source
Man "gets the boot."
Man "gets the boot." | Source
Middle-age man worries about losing his job.
Middle-age man worries about losing his job. | Source

These are 5 Wrong Ways to Fire an Employee:

  1. Shout the news – of “Eddy Employee’s” termination over the P.A. system.

  2. Start the task – of cleaning-out the terminated employee’s desk yourself in-front of them.

  3. Tell the employee – that you and he are taking a ride to “talk,” then take them out of town and leave them at some shady-looking truck stop. Then fire the employee and tell them to get out of your car.

  4. Tell the office staff – to hold up signs that say, “Good-bye, ‘Tom’!” “You Are Fired.”

  5. Leave the sad news – of the soon-to-be-ex-employee’s firing on a sticky note placed on his desktop.

Things You Need to Do Before Firing an Employee:

  • Alert the office security officers of what is going to happen. Then tell them to wait in a discreet place and what time you are firing the employee.
  • Make sure that all the proper “Exit Company” paperwork has been collected for the ex-employee to sign.
  • Relax, and be in-control of your emotions for this might turn ugly.
  • Do not act as if you are gloating about letting the employee go.
  • Ask the employee (after) the firing if they are alright.

Things You Might Expect When You Fire an Employee

  • A stern cursing with a lot of finger-pointing (in your face) by the angry employee
  • A fist-fight.
  • Emotional break-down’s
  • Throwing office furniture and or materials such as sharp objects.
  • Yelling at you for “taking bread out of his kids’ mouths.”
  • Silence from the fired-employee and an angry glare from them as the security guards escort them from company property.

Things You Might Do “After” You Fire an Employee:

  • Change your name.
  • Move to a new address.
  • Get an unlisted telephone number.
  • Get drastic plastic surgery to change your appearance.
  • Hire a bodyguard (for three months—the time experts say that an “ex” employee will try to get even with you.
  • Buy a trained guard dog.
  • Have a company car pick you up and take you home from work.

And bosses, if all of these tips fail, just go back and remember the time(s) you were fired.

Or have bullet-proof glass installed in your office so you can fire the employee with no worry of being attacked.

If you have ever had the displeasure of "firing" and employee, I can relate. I was a supervisor at a smaller newspaper than the one I retired from and I had to "do the firing," of someone who insisted on calling-in sick just so she and her girlfriends could cruise around town and drink booze.

It was tough because she was a friend of mine. But after it happened, it appeared that she was relieved at not having a job to come to each day and left happy.

Go figure.

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Comments 4 comments

sheilamyers 2 years ago

I've never been in a position to fire anyone, but I have a list in case I ever am. Did I just say that? Ooooops! I've never been fired either so I've been lucky there. Where I work, I don't think they're ever "fired" or "terminated" anyone using those words. They wait until we hit a slow period, lay the person off, and then never call them back. I think that's the worst way to do it.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, dear sheilamyers,

I have once and it is not good.

And what you say about slow periods and laying off folks, I was laid-off for six weeks at that same garment plant I told you about on the "Dealing with Being The New Kid in The Office" hub a minute ago, and they did eventually call me back.

But I drew more unemployment than I made at the plant.

I never figured out why I was working to begin with.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

Nice hub. I've never had to fire anyone that I supervised, but I found your candid and humorous firing tips very interesting. I really never thought it could get to the point of fist-fights and cursing.

I guess it could, being that it's a serious, life changing event. Hope I never had to do the dirty job of firing someone.

Voted up, funny and interesting.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, ComfortB,

Thanks for your wise comment, but I have seen firings that were down-right nasty for the employer having to endure vulgar talk and threats.

I could never do this to an employee except in the case that he made sexual comments to a female employee or abused company privileges or sold drugs on company property.

Then it would be easy.

ComfortB., come back anytime for a visit.

God bless you.

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