How to dismiss employees the right way

09/09/2008 - 00:00
The climate is challenging for thousands of businesses throughout the UK. What with increasing prices, and cost of product development rising, companies have to become more flexible to absorb these challenges.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in an increase in employee dismissals. So how should leaders go about doing this and is there a right or wrong way? The McLane Group, a consultancy specialist in people, transformation and breakthrough performance, has provided top 10 tips on ways to fire staff. Be transparent: Do not try and couch the reasons behind your decision – stay strong and focused Plan your words: Prepare what you're going to say with a trusted colleague and make sure you always have a member of personnel/HR with you Pick the right time: Timing is critical - carry out the dismissal at the end of the day as this gives the employee the chance to privately clear out their desk and slip out quietly if they choose. Fire early in the week and never on a Friday so they don't have the weekend to stew about your decision Make time for your feelings: Before calling the employee into your office reflect on how you are feeling so that when it comes to delivering the bad news you're direct and don't preamble Be clear: Own your own feelings and share how you feel – make it clear that this is a business decision Be honest: Be prepared to say "I'm sorry, I've let you down"; by clearing your conscience you'll have increased the probability that the impact is as positive as it can be Explain exact reasons for termination: Make sure that the employee really does understand he or she is not being dismissed because you are critical of their performance or attitude. Acknowledge them for what they have contributed and the qualities and skills they have. Don't give false praise just to have them feel better – they will sense this anyway. The reason for this is that often even if we understand it was redundancy because of outside pressures we can easily feel down about ourselves in such situations and lose confidence in ourselves Redundancy: Make sure that your selection for redundancy is understandable, transparent and legal Plan your strategy: If you're firing a group of people set up an organisational wide communication and sit down each employee one by one Plan how to notify co-workers: Discuss with the employee how they'd like to handle their departure and how they'd like to let their colleagues know; re-invent their dismissal The McLane Group can help coach leaders on how to face major challenges. Weblink: www.mclanegroup.co.uk

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