One of the most dreaded tasks for any manager is firing an employee. On the surface, it’s complicated, time-consuming, and often frustrating. But on a deeper level, it’s always painful telling someone she no longer has a job, even if she wasn’t a good fit for your company or her position.
As challenging as any firing can be, however, it’s even more complicated when the person being fired is a remote worker.
- Clearly communicate the reasons for the termination: When firing a remote employee, it’s important to be clear and specific about the reasons for the termination, and to provide evidence to support those reasons.
- Follow company policies and procedures: Make sure that you follow your company’s policies and procedures when terminating an employee, including any required documentation or approvals.
- Choose the right time and place: When firing a remote employee, it’s important to choose a time and place that is appropriate and respectful. For example, it’s best to avoid firing an employee on a Friday afternoon or during a holiday period.
- Use video conferencing: When firing a remote employee, it’s best to use video conferencing to ensure that you can see and hear each other during the conversation, and to create a sense of personal connection.
- Be prepared for the employee’s reaction: When firing a remote employee, it’s important to be prepared for a range of reactions, including anger, sadness, or confusion, and to be able to respond appropriately.
- Be respectful and compassionate: When firing a remote employee, it’s important to be respectful and compassionate, and to avoid using harsh or accusatory language.
- Provide support: When firing a remote employee, it’s important to provide support and resources to help them transition to their next job, such as a recommendation letter or information about unemployment benefits.
- Follow up: After firing a remote employee, it’s important to follow up with them to ensure that they have received their final paycheck and any other outstanding benefits, and to address any outstanding issues or concerns.
Following these eight tips won’t make firing a remote worker less painful. But if you strive to follow through in the right way, it will at least ensure that the process is handled fairly, adheres to company policies, fits within legal standards, and allows the fired worker to retain her dignity.