Letting go of an employee is one of the toughest tasks required of managers and business owners. If done correctly, the process should be completely transparent, with both parties understanding exactly why the decision was made. If done incorrectly, a botched firing could end up costing you your business. With that in mind, we’ve assembled a list of tips from REMODELING articles and other sources that will help keep your firing practices legal and to the point. Share your tips, too, to help us round out the list.

From REMODELING:

  • All about policy: Set your firing policies before you hire an employee and make sure that those policies are clearly laid out in your employee handbook. 
  • Situational thinking: Be sure to take into account the situation under which your are firing an employee. Stealing and cheating are immediate termination situations, but poor performance may require other remedies.
  • Hire slow, fire fast: The best way to avoid having to fire someone is making sure you hire the right person in the first place. 
From Around the Web:
  • Control your emotions: As the person doing the firing, it's important you keep your emotions in-check and under control.
  • It's a process: Dismissing an employee for performance reasons should never come as a surprise to the employee in question. It should be a last resort after a process where opportunities to correct flaws are offered to the employee.
  • Consider culture: Sometimes people just aren't the right fit for your company. It's best to avoid these situations by being rigorous during the hiring process.
  • Minimize emotional outbursts: Avoid confusion and surprise by preparing before you fire an employee. Go into the room with answers to logistical questions that the employee may have and remember to listen to what they have to say.