Saturday, July 13, 2024

How to Overcome the Feeling of Guilt after Firing an Employee

Laying off an employee must be one of the hardest things a manager needs to learn how to deal with. In order to ensure you can do this and leave guilt – free, you need to start early. Regardless of whether it is low – performance issues or a violation of company’s policies, doing things right will help you sleep at night.


To ensure that everyone has been given equal opportunities, there must be proper employee supervision in place. This will help you notice any potential issues at their very beginning and take the proper actions to resolve them. Assuming all employees have been given the appropriate training, ensure that they all have the same understanding of it. Supervision will allow you to notice when this is not the case.

Inform them about policies

Each company has its policies and expectations from workers. Make sure that your policies are included in the welcome – pack and stated several times during the training. Print it on the company’s manifesto and post it in shared areas. This way you will know that if someone is violating them, they are doing it on purpose. Set the number of warnings you can issue for the policies based on their importance. Make sure the warnings (as well as policies) are straightforward, clearly worded, with no room left for different interpretations.


A non – disclosure agreement can be considered a part of the policies; however, it is not something commonly posted on a kitchen wall. If there are agreements you ask your employees to sign, make sure they read it. Encourage them to ask questions and explain the agreement, going through its points one by one. It might be smart to record these sessions. This may seem like a waste of time, but by doing this, you are not only protecting your employees but also protecting the company you own or work for.

Poor – performance issues

Proper supervision and clear targets will help you notice which of your employees may be underperforming. Make sure that the targets are carefully designed. As an employer or a manager, you need to have a set period of tolerance. Circumstances may vary, and everyone is allowed a bad month. However, your patience should not affect the business. If this is something you have trouble determining, take a Leadership development course. Again, issue clear warnings and make sure the employee knows what is expected of them. Also, ensure that they get all the help they may need to improve the performance.

Document the issue

Another important part of the process is documenting any issues that arise. From the moment you notice policy violations, as well as poor – performance, start documenting the case. Note any circumstances involved. This will help you see that the lay – off was justified, and it will also help you protect yourself and the business from any claims of wrongful termination. You will also be well prepared for what is about to happen.

The termination meeting

If there are no set policies, it is up to you to determine when you want to let the employee know they are no longer needed. There should be witnesses to this session, familiar with the case. Be determined and concise, but make sure you include all details of the case. Be patient and calm. Allow the employee to ask you as many questions as they want and make sure you answer them all. Avoid the temptation of changing your decision, by remembering that you have had enough to time and evidence to carefully think it through. You should pay them in full, but first, explain how much they can expect and ask them to sign on it.

Be respectful

Regardless of any resentment you may hold to the employee’s actions, make sure you stay respectful during the termination session. Do not show that you are angry, sad, or in any way more superior than they are. Your emotions may also peak at this point, but, as stated above, you should not give in and change your decision. Allow the employee to say goodbye and leave with a closure. Do not try to shame them in any way. Offer to send their belongings to their home if they do not feel like packing themselves.

If you read through this carefully, you have noticed that there is more to be done preceding the event, than during and after it. Once you get to the point of laying – off, what is done is done. Everything you did beforehand will allow you to sleep well at night. You will know that you have given the employee an opportunity to work for their position and that it wasn’t your spontaneous decision to let them go.

Tweak Biz
Tweak Biz
TweakBiz is a community dedicated towards entrepreneurs, small businesses owners and startup seekers on the globe.
Latest Posts
Related Posts