October 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts August 2002 Current Issue
August 2002

Letting Someone Go Easy

Terminating an employee is a difficult task, even for the most seasoned manager. How one delivers the bad news, though, can make all the difference. The Dallas-based Integrity Center (, which conducts background checks on potential employees, suggests that managers take the following steps.

Document everything. Record all discussions and keep copies of all paperwork before and after notifying an employee that he has been put on probation.

Be prepared. Prepare all paperwork in advance, so it is ready when the employee is given the bad news.

Talk straight. Be brief, honest and polite, and hold difficult conversations privately. “In the past year, a lot of good people were terminated through no fault of their own,” says John Allan, Integrity’s president. “The oldest adage of all comes to mind: Treat everyone nicely, because you never know when you will have to deal with them again.”

Be subtle. Show tact when delivering the bad news to the rest of the staff. Be careful not to embarrass the employee who is being let go or make those remaining on the job feel uncomfortable. n


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