Firing tips for character-centered leaders are an important part of a strong organization’s fabric, the substance of good employee relations. Firing tips help you handle this critical process properly.
Employees show limited interest in newcomers, and your hiring process does little to affect relationships within the organization. That does not mean it is unimportant, but how you hire someone makes little difference to your current employees.
Dismissal is different. Fire someone’s co-worker, and you rock the relational boat. Current workers often have strong opinions about how people should be handled during the firing process. After all, they may be in that position themselves someday.
Firing tips for character-centered leaders have one important difference from common firing tips. Unlike firing tips so often found online or in business books, firing tips for character-centered leaders concentrate on character. They address specific character traits.
Without trying to be exhaustive, let’s look at nine of those character traits so important to firing tips. They are presented here in no particular order. Study all of them, and weave them throughout the dismissal process.
Dismissing an employee is a serious responsibility and firing tips for character-centered leaders should never treat it lightly. Whoever is handling the dismissal will need to study and master the best techniques for handling this sensitive process, and then carry out the task to the utmost of his or her ability. That means that you, the employer or superior involved, will pay attention to what follows.
Firing tips for character-centered leaders must address the need for respect. That employee that is being dismissed is a human being. As such, he or she has value. For one reason or another, the individual’s worth to the business may have ceased to exist, but the person still has value. It is important to remember that, and to seek for ways in which to demonstrate your recognition of that value even in the process of firing. Your tone of voice will go a long way toward showing that this is still a person, not a bit of refuse. The time and effort you exert in preparing for the dismissal will also demonstrate the person’s worth. Does it matter? Respect is a character trait. Character-centered leaders know that it is important whenever they interact with other people. An employee who is being fired is no exception. So when you ponder firing tips, remember respect.
The only appropriate place to dismiss an employee is in private. You may think that is understood. You may say that you always call employees to your office and close the door before firing them, but is that really the better part of discretion? With forethought, you can exercise greater discretion and remove more of the sting when firing. Consider these two firing tips. You might want to take an employee to lunch in an out-of-the-way restaurant where other employees will not be present. You might ask an employee to stay after closing and have your discussion when others have gone. Discretion is a character trait of great men and women. Use it.
Employees who are being fired will have many needs: emotional as well as physical. Exercise compassion. This is one of the most important firing tips I can give you. Empathize and try to feel what they feel. Do what you can to alleviate their problems. You may be able to give a bit of severance pay. You may offer job-hunt assistance. Do what you can to be caring. Remember, this is a fellow human.
Character-centered leaders must exercise discernment when deciding to dismiss employees as well as in the actual process of firing someone. Here are two firing tips:
- Sift the facts
- Separate facts carefully.
Resist the temptation to make a collection of every possible problem. One or two problems prompted firing. Exercise discernment and choose the most important.
Firing tips often forget to remind you that there is more than one side to every story. If you are going to exercise discernment and sift facts, you will want to get all of the facts first. There may be as many as four or five perspectives, and you need to look at them all. If your new assistant, Jim, comes into your office and claims that Edwin in accounting is really not qualified, refuse to take Jim’s word for it. Don’t be in a hurry to fire Edwin. Take time to ask Becky, Robert, and Emma. Get the whole picture and exercise fairness.
Firing tips that do not include appreciation are cold-hearted, and a character-centered leader is not cold-hearted. Any firing process must involve appreciation. When you talk to the employee, begin by expressing sincere appreciation. They have surely contributed something to the organization while they were there. Tell them so. Be sure you end the conversation with additional words of appreciation.
Important: Give special attention to character traits exercised by the employee when voicing appreciation. These are far more important than skills. Look for them. Comment on them. Include them in every letter of referral.
Another one of those secondary firing tips: Use an appreciation sandwich.
Nothing is gained by losing your temper. Character-centered leaders remember that self-control is among the more important firing tips. Even if employees being fired become angry, you must remain a man or woman of character. Control your words. Delete vulgarities and foul language. Speak kindly and gently.
Courage of Convictions
Firing tips for character-centered leaders are not run-of-the-mill, as we stated before. Some of those firing tips are more unusual than others, and I want to end with one of those so that it sticks. It is courage of convictions.
A character-centered leader knows what he or she believes and is prepared to stand up for those beliefs at all times. The firing process is no exception.
Positive firing tips? Courage of convictions will sometimes cause you to refuse to fire a person when others recommend dismissal. You will go to bat for that when your beliefs tell you that the dismissal is wrong.
Negative firing tips? At other times, courage of convictions will cause you to fire a person that others recommend keeping. Your strong beliefs tell you that it is in the best interests of the organization as well as the employee to dismiss him or her.
Firing tips for character-centered leaders include other character traits, but the leader who exercises these nine will transform the dismissal process, improve employee relations, and build a stronger, more successful business.