Excerpted from The SHRM Blog By Roxi Bahar Hewertson

When you are a human resource professional or hiring leader, firing right is just as important a part of your job as is hiring right. No one wakes up in the morning looking forward to terminating a staff member’s employment. In fact, people hate it so much they often wait far too long. While firing the right way won’t eliminate all the pain for either party, it will make the conversation much more palatable.

In any employment separation, voluntary or involuntary, most of us want to have clean and graceful closures. Many HR professionals and managers doubt this is likely, or even possible. It is! For involuntary terminations, clean closure means: dot your I’s and cross your T’s with every aspect of the decision, the process, and the conversation. Graceful closure means treating the individual with dignity and compassion. After all, they are losing their livelihood, status, and security, not you, so graciousness is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.

It is essential to give people an opportunity to make course corrections whenever possible. With the exception of dangerous and/or egregious behavior, employees must receive constructive feedback and be given a reasonable amount of time (dependent on the issue) to turn things around. No firing should be a surprise! Each situation and each person will be different, but a good rule of thumb is: address concerns quickly, provide immediate constructive feedback and/or undertake an intervention – then be clear about the specific measurable results you expect to see within a specific time frame and then…follow up.
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