If you have employees, it is almost inevitable you will have to fire someone someday. What do you do with the rest of the workforce after you have freed up the future of an employee who was not a good fit for your company?
As soon as possible, gather all the employees. Tell them that the employee has been let go. Say the decision was made for the good of the business, the employees who will continue to work there, and the clients whom the business serves.
Do not go into detail about the circumstances that created the need to let the employee go. There is no point in trying to justify it. You are the dude, the boss. It was your decision and leave it at that.
Do ask if anyone has any comments and/or questions. Make sure everyone in attendance says something. Why? By doing so everyone takes a higher level of ownership for working effectively with the remaining employees.
Finally, remind the remaining employees that they continue to be employed because they are part of the solution, not part of the problem, and that you are proud to be working with such a good team.
Then everyone gets back to work.
By having his brief meeting and sharing the information with everyone at once your team has become even stronger. And the burden of “Why is Joe gone?” is off your back.—Paul Winans, a veteran remodeler, is a facilitator for Remodelers Advantage and a consultant to remodeling business owners.