When firing an employee via email, you need to pay attention to the way you write your email. One major advantage of dismissal from employment via email is that you are able to take your time to ensure your message comes out right. You have the chance to work towards a tactically written, well reviewed, and properly edited email.
Another advantage is that using email officially documents the action for future reference.
Communicating through email also helps you avoid possible confrontation with the recipient, which may occur if you were to talk to the employee in person regarding the termination. This is true especially if you have challenges handling uncomfortable situations like firing an employee.
Why Fire an Employee?
Firing an employee is perhaps one of the hardest things an employer may have to do at one time or the other. The fact is anyone who hires should be ready for the day he has to fire. It is important to know that this process is part of development when it comes to running an organization. Some employees will run the company down if they remain. A boss, however, needs to master the art of firing just like he should have an eye to employ resourceful people that will contribute to the growth of the company.
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Just Before You Fire
Firing an employee should be a slow decision, except in exceptional cases. The rare case of open defiance or rebellion should be dealt with by firing such a disloyal employee. Apart from this, it is important that termination is justified. Give room for the benefit of the doubt in making a decision to fire. This is vital so that you do not make the mistake of firing an asset, someone that is of high value to your company. Investigate every case or accusation thoroughly. Verify that the employee is truly a serious liability that has refused to change despite repeated warnings and queries. When all your facts are straightened out, and you decide to terminate the employee’s appointment, you will have no issues making your case. This will avert possible litigation or damage to the company’s image.
Important Points on Firing
You Help the Employee
You will be helping an employee to reflect, readjust and make amendments when you let them go. Some people may have a chance of improving when they have the experience of being fired. The experience can help them ‘wake up’ and work on themselves to be better employees.
You Save the Company
One person losing his job is not compared to the tragedy of the company going down or experiencing a rough time. Remember, if the company collapses, every employee and the employer also lose their jobs. Therefore, there is no need to entertain sentiments, let the employee go and save the company.
You need to define those acts that will lead to an employee being fired. These acts of misconducts and how they viewed may vary from one company to another. However, any action that is not in line with the core values of the organization should be frowned at.
You may need to take a step back to consider if you are actually making the right decision. This should not be done out of sentiments but logical reasoning based on the set down parameters and policies of the company. Has the employee really crossed the line?
Firing an employee should be a last resort. In cases whereby there have been warnings issued previously, you need to ensure they are well documented either through queries or other forms which can be referred to in case of a lawsuit following the termination.
Make It Bearable
The plain fact is that firing an employee will not be easy on the boss and the person at the receiving end. It is left to the boss to make the process bearable as much as possible for the worker. This will be reflected in the manner the whole process is done. Therefore, your email should be as polite as it is simple. One of the best ways to make the process simple is to give some clues ahead so that the employee may prepare his mind or resign, but if this is not poss.
It’s Not Personal
Despite the misconducts and other reasons for dismissing a worker, do not attack his personality. There are ways to give reasons for letting a person go than attacking his personality. Really, it is always better when a manager has made an employee to be repeatedly aware of some of these misconducts and how it affects the company way ahead before it gets to the point of being fired. Do not break the spirit of the worker by attacking him in the area of weaknesses. Yes, he is being fired for misconducts, but sometimes, it is just enough to let adults figure out certain things in their personality traits that need to be worked on.
Make it easy by being decisive and not giving hope for reconsideration. Being strict about the decision you have made makes it easy to bear the information without much expectations that may lead to a dashing of hope for the employee.
Tips for Writing Your Email
- Write “Your appointment is terminated” not “Your appointment has been terminated”.
- Be polite, brief and professional.
- Say something positive about the employee; he does not have to feel like the worst person on earth.
- It is important to remind the employee of previous queries or warning that was issued. This will him receive the news with less surprise, as well as see the reason he is being fired.
- Clarity is critical, use simple words and terms to convey a note of finality which will not be revoked.
- Early in your email ensure that the employee is aware that the email is regarding the termination of his appointment. It is ideal to make a recipient of this kind of news expect it at the beginning of a communication experience instead of them receiving it with shock at the end.
- Show appreciation and best wishes.
Sample Email: Firing an Employee via Email
Hope your day went well?
The management has decided to terminate your appointment with the firm. We have lost three major clients, and are currently on the verge of losing a fourth, in just one year since you were hired to head the marketing department.
We recognize your strong personality and leadership skills. We are also aware of the personal challenges you had to put up with. However, the financial stability of the entire firm is threatened because of these clients we have lost.
We have pleaded and even warned you repeatedly to desist from having personal relationships with the company’s female clients, or female employees of our corporate clients. However, you have persisted in doing this. This has led to several misunderstanding between us and some clients who feel the firm encourages these relationships which most of them frown at.
We sincerely appreciate all the effort you have put into the firm and wish you nothing but the best in your entire future endeavor.
Assistant Managing Director
Edited by Kelechi Duru
Deciding the right phrase to handle different situations can be very tasking. As a correspondent, you are directly involved in critical day-to-day interactions via email. This makes your ability to craft good email messages, using the perfect phrases and clauses, tangential to your business success.
There is a book by Meryl Runion that will help you to a great extent:
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplace
Overall, this book will greatly improve your communication skills. It will also help you easily clarify assignments with your manager or projects with your clients as well as guide you in handling the inevitable complaints that sometimes follow sales of products or services.