GeneralHr Library

How to Fire Someone Without Destroying Them

Source | Harvard Business Review : By Anese Cavanaugh

Being let go can be one of the most painful, humiliating, and devastating experiences of one’s life — but it doesn’t have to be the worst. How a manager handles the process will have a huge impact on how a former employee moves forward and how he or she will look back on this life-altering moment in the future.

Let’s explore two ways that Jack (not his real name) could be let go:

Scenario 1: Jack’s manager fires him without doing the work ahead of time (giving him feedback, offering him ways to improve, putting him on a performance plan, giving any indication that there is an issue), leaving Jack completely blindsided. The conversation is rushed and the manager is distracted — they’re interrupted twice in their 17-minute meeting. The manager seems to view Jack’s firing as something “that just needs to get done.”

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