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The 5 Stages To Let An Employee Go

employee interreaction

When you’re a business owner, one of the worst experiences you will go through is having to fire someone from your workforce. You’re well aware that you’re going to upset the employee in question, and potentially cause problems for their family and household situation– but you’re also well aware that your business can’t keep them on. You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Many business owners will go through five stages, both before and after the actual firing, that can be difficult to deal with if you’ve never experienced before. So if you’re still a relatively new business owner and want to know what to expect when you’re going through the firing process, here’s an idea of what might be in store…

Stage One: “Maybe I Don’t Have To Fire Them.”

Most bosses will try and find reasons not to fire an employee, especially if you like them on a personal level. You’ll try and convince yourself that their performance could improve, that everyone makes a mistake or two sometimes. You’ll even try and convince yourself that you will hire someone in their place, and there’s absolutely no guarantee that person will be any better for your business.

how to fire an employee
how to fire an employee

Stage Two: “Okay, I Do Have To Fire Them.”

Maybe an employee can change and will improve, so you never have to move on to this grim realisation– but sometimes, the inevitable moment when you realise you have to fire the employee will come. The moment you realise you’re really going to have to fire someone is a tough one, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself upset or rattled at the prospect.

Stage Three: “I Regret Firing Them.”

When you’ve made the decision to fire someone, you won’t necessarily expect to feel any relief when the deed is done. It’s a difficult process that can weigh heavily on your emotions, meaning that you find the conversation where you inform them of their job loss is something that plays on your mind for days.

Stage Four: “Things Will Be Better Now!”

Hot on the heels of the depression of stage three is the surge of raw excitement and hope that signifies the onset of stage four. This is the stage when you’ll be excited about the prospect of a new employee. You begin the process of clearing out the old employee’s office space, deciding to visit to help with the removal of any junk that has accumulated, and planning to redecorate the office to bring in a fresh new arrival.

Stage Five: “Business As Usual.”

While it may not feel like you will ever reach this point when you’re languishing back in stage one, there is life after you have fired an employee. Things will return to normal, your emotions will settle, and you’ll be ready to welcome a new employee with the methods suggest. Try and remember that you will get to this stage, and that your business will ultimately be set to continue to grow and flourish in the future.



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