As a manager, letting people go is one of the toughest aspects of your job. While it is necessary at times, handling the situation professionally is not always easy, regardless of whether the employee is being terminated for a performance issue, something more severe, or factors that are outside of everyone’s control.
When an employee is on their way out, there are things you can do to help them along the way to make it easier on them and yourself. Here is what you need to do.
Communicate Clearly From the Beginning
Once you know an employee is being let go, regardless of the reason, don’t try to soften the blow by being ambiguous. This can lead to unnecessary confusion and may cause them not to understand the situation fully.
While you want to remain professional when you deliver the news, also strive to be incredibly clear. Don’t offer a “maybe” when there is no chance things will change and don’t downplay any aspect of the situation, including the reasoning behind the decision.
Don’t Go Faster Than Necessary
While some terminations need to be handled swiftly, other situations (like layoffs) might not be as dire. In cases where an immediate exit isn’t necessary, do not move things along faster than you absolutely must.
See if there are options to give the person a little more time so they can prepare for the transition. Not only will this allow them to plan next steps, but it also creates an opportunity for them to shift their responsibilities to someone else, ensuring the workplace is disrupted as little as possible once they leave.
Maintain a Positive Mindset
Staying positive may feel like a challenge, but it is important if you want the person to make a smooth transition. If the person is being laid off or has reached the end of their contract, try to focus on what may be ahead of them. Additionally, if you can offer support, such as career coaching, do so if it is appropriate.
In cases where an individual is fired, maintaining a positive mindset can keep the situation from escalating unnecessarily. It increases the odds that you won’t say something you may regret or make the circumstances more volatile than they need to be. Plus, it can help you focus on what the future may have in store for you and your company, something that may make terminating a less-than-ideal employee easier to manage.
Offer to Help Them on Their Journey
Offering to assist a short-term worker or laid off employee take critical steps forward can ease their transition. For example, reviewing their resume or social media profiles to make sure they will serve them well in their job search could be a nice gesture. Similarly, connecting them with members of your network who may be looking for a person with their skills could help them expand their network and find a new opportunity quickly.
Similarly, finding freelance options or projects in other departments at your company could give them more time to find something new. While this relies on them having the right skills and the ability to produce high-quality work, it is worth exploring if they are genuinely a good worker.
By following the tips above, you can stay professional when an employee is on the way out. If you’d like to know more, the staff at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions or concerns with a member of our skilled team today and see how our workforce management expertise can benefit you.