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3 tips for telling an employee they are dismissed

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL LAW - Business Litigation

Regardless of what an employee has done, it can be challenging to inform them they are dismissed. Mistakes during this conversation could prove costly.

Following these three tips can increase the chance that things go smoothly:

1. Be prepared

Before scheduling a termination meeting, you should be prepared. Firstly, have the documents related to their dismissal ready. For example, if you want to dismiss an employee for continued poor performance, gather their performance evaluation reports, warning letters and emails showing the steps taken to improve their performance.

Additionally, consider the questions the employee might ask and plan how you will answer them. For example:

  • Why am I being fired?
  • Am I being offered severance?
  • Can I appeal?
  • Can I resign instead of being dismissed?

Preparing can also help you evaluate if the dismissal is legal.

2. Provide adequate information

During the termination meeting, you should provide your employee with adequate information, from explaining the reason for the dismissal to telling them the decision is final. Basically, be honest, clear and brief. Doing this can save you from lawsuits, which can be possible if you fail to provide a reasonable explanation during the termination meeting.

3. Listen to your employee attentively

Even though you conducted a thorough investigation to determine a dismissal is the best decision, give your employee a chance to talk about the reason that led to their dismissal without interrupting them. This way, you can learn if they view the dismissal as unlawful or unfair and, in turn, can know how to conduct the discussion.

Further, you should respect your employee’s request. For example, if they request to have the contents of their desk or office sent to them, consider doing that for them.

How you tell an employee they are fired matters. Legal guidance can help you make informed decisions.