When You Let Workers Go: Be Kind


I know that is it is not easy to let reduce a staff whether it is for performance or economic reasons. As a manager and human resources executive, I have hired and fired many people and I know it can be complex.  But as a career coach I often help people overcome the trauma inflicted by bosses who, under the stress of making changes come off as uncaring and cold.  This adds injury that can easily be avoided with three basic  guidelines:

1. Be Kind: Communicate directly and clearly with understanding and compassion. Remember that being human through the process of terminating an employee will not expose you to lawsuits, in fact it may help avoid them.

2. Be Respectful: Focus on the facts of why the person is being terminated rather than insulting their character or belittling them in any way.

3. Be Discreet: Keep the news to as few people as possible before the termination to avoid confusion. In addition, make this easier on the worker being let go and their coworkers by completing the process in private and if possible, at the beginning or  end of the day so they can clear out their workspace with as much privacy  as possible.

No matter the circumstances, people should be treated with dignity through out their tenure with your organization up to and including when they leave.

Laurel Donnellan






© 2013 – 2014, brightlivelihoods. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply