Another Quote - Dick Grote - author of How to Be Good At Performance Appraisals: Simple, Effective, Done Right
"Employee termination must be carefully planned, with the heavy involvement of human resources, if this assistance is available. But the responsibility for how to terminate an employee is the job of the manager and not that of the HR rep.
To begin, waste no time with small talk or anything other than the job at hand. In the movie Jerry Maguire, Jerry’s peer, a sleazy sports agent named Bob Sugar, takes him to lunch with the purpose of firing him. While he’s portrayed in the movie as a slimeball, Sugar does one thing right: he gets right to the point. He leads with a clear statement of the bad news he has to deliver: “I’m here to fire you, Jerry,” he states within a minute of their sitting down.
As HR expert Kris Dunn notes, when you’re delivering bad, life-changing news, clarity is your friend. The confusion related to small talk is your enemy.
Here’s a brief, step-by-step guide to one of leadership’s most unpleasant duties.
1. Say, “Hello, [name]. Come in and sit down. I’ve got some bad news for you.” (Note: Communications experts always advise that it’s important to set the appropriate tone for the meeting. By starting with the statement, “I’ve got some bad news” you have eliminated any confusion.)
2. State the reason for the termination in one short sentence: “As you know, [the reason for the termination.]”
3. Say, “As a result, it is my duty to let you know that your employment with the company has been terminated as of today.” (Note: Use the past tense. Say, “Your employment has been terminated,” not “will be terminated.”)
4. Be specific about what will happen next: pay, benefits, unused vacation time, references, outplacement, and so forth.
5. Close by thanking the person for his contributions to the company. (Note: While it may seem odd to thank someone you’re terminating for poor performance, almost everyone makes some contributions. Ending on a grace note can forestall future problems.)
Employee termination is undoubtedly one of the most disliked requirements of being a manager."