In every HR professional’s life there comes a moment where he has to fire someone. Let the guilt seep in and remain in the heart for a long time. Whereas, on the other hand firing is a part and parcel of the profession and one has to take it like that, like conducting performance appraisals or processing payroll or publishing MIS. Right?
Wrong. Firing comes around to be the toughest task and no matter how many times has one done, the next time always hurts. For being the one to relay the bad news, to wear those horns of demon and being a non-human in the whole process.
Like it or not, firing comes under HR’s periphery and we have to do it. So how to extenuate the damage and to control the heat of that moment? How to do it wisely and with calmness? Here’s how:
- Know the reasons well of why you are taking this action-the reason to fire should be crystal clear to the personnel involved in this. Lot of times the senior management or delivery heads or project heads take the decisions and HR is puny memo re-layer which makes it a little messy when it actually happens. Knowing the background and the real reason of firing will make your ground strong and will let you handle the situation neatly.
- Know the employee’s background well, of that moment especially. You never know the employee whom you are going to fire must be having a tough time already at personal end or maybe it’s her daughter’s b’day or he just battled with a grave situation at family’s end like his father’s illness or so. You just never know if and when the employee is already down in dumps or sprightly all the more, at that point. Be considerate and do a thorough check, if need be postpone the firing for a day or two or plan it differently. It will certainly make it less burdening for you and a little governable for the employee.
- Keep your offerings ready. Many Companies offer a salary of the stipulated notice period to the employee, as per the offer conditions mentioned in the offer letter, and asks her to not report to the office with immediate effect. There are Companies who ask employee to write down a resignation letter in which case he is not issued a termination letter so that his career is not tarnished and he will be able to land up a job further. So whatever you decide, according to your Company’s policy and legal alignment, keep all the documents and offers ready.
- Be ready for handling the tumultuous situation at employee’s end.Of course, being asked to resign or being terminated is not easy for anyone. Especially, when one doesn’t see it coming. It acts like a blow and the employee with low emotional intelligence would possibly over react to the situation. Be prepared for that and it would be not wrong to say, be well armed! Have your team ready for taking actions based on the situation. There are employees who are problem makers,they would want to damage the atmosphere while leaving the premises.
- Think about outplacement. Give that option to the employee in coordination with your hiring team. This will not only make the employee feel hopeful but he/she may actually land up in a job within a decent time.
What are your strategies to handle firing? What are your take aways from your experience of firing exercise?