You’ve been called the bad guys, the people who throw down the decisions about who gets fired. But, truthfully, most of those decisions aren’t about you and they’re not even made by you when upper management is tasked with these difficult situations.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. And you’re the ones who get to deliver the decision.
Think about how you might feel if you were in the shoes of the other person at the table. How would you want to be talked to? What might be helpful to hear from the person that lets you know you need to find another job?
- Be clear – While it might seem kinder to dance around the idea of someone getting fired or laid off, it’s not. You want to be as clear as possible in this conversation, letting the other person know they will not be working with the company anymore.
- Be resourceful – If the employee is something who has been valuable to the company, you may want to offer them resources to help them find a new job. The employee won’t feel as though all of their hard work went unnoticed.
- Be available for questions – Even though you might want to complete the meeting as soon as possible, an employee might have questions. Set aside some time for them to ask what they need to ask, and then leave any other questions for email or a follow-up phone call.
In human resources, you often have to make decisions and take actions that are challenging, but necessary. While this sort of conversation may not be easy, it doesn’t have to be as difficult or as painful as some movies or TV shows portray.
When you make this conversation clear and helpful, then the other person will leave with their pride in tact, and possibly a few resources to get them started as quickly as possible in the new chapter of their life.