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Readers Respond: What Do You Not Want to Do When You're Firing Employees?

Responses: 19


Firing employees is never a pleasant experience but there are actions you can take that minimize the pain - for you and for your organization, and for the fired employee, too. What have you found is best not to do when firing employees? Advice about what works well for you when firing employees, is welcome, too. See more reader responses. Share Your Experience


I worked here for two years. I contributed so much. I was called at home after working a full day (in which I got off an hour and a half late). The manager called me an hour later, "It's best if you don't come back, I tried to fight for you, i admire your loyalty and dedication to (here), you will flourish at another place, I won't hinder you from getting another job--I'll even give you a great reference. Should the practice expand, there MAY be a position for you down the line, I'm sorry". She couldn't even tell me why and she couldn't even say the words 'fired' or 'let go' even after I asked. I felt horrible and midsized because I dedicated everything I had to that place. I even turned down other job offers to stay there.
—Guest ImPeached

Fired before I even got started!

I went to an interview and got hired. I was told to start the next Tuesday. I went in on Thursday to get my uniform and manager was not there. I went in on Monday, the day before I was to start, and I was told that I was supposed to start last Friday and since I did not show up then, they told me not to come back. Some people that are managers are truly heartless.
—Guest Marci

How to handle employees in workplace

If there is a gap between the current status of the employee's skill, as a manager, you have to give him a short orientation and training about the current situation.
—Guest begna bekele

Political firing

HR does not understand the first thing about company politics. Someone needs to stop the insanity with employment-at-will garbage that basically gives private employers the right to break the law with things they say and do. I had an owner say to my management team that they are to go home and f@^% there wives and come back and work 110 percent and then do it all over again. Then be allowed to slander and make up lies at will. When will someone step up and stop this basic violation of our constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness and all men are created equal then allow these kinds of injustices to exist with no real recourse to stand up for your rights. I was told I had a job for life, said to me with witnesses present, but if it got to court the statement would be dismissed. Well the kicker is after 27 years of devotion to a company, they did what every selfish owner eventually does when they reach retirement age themselves, they get rid of all the high salaries.
—Guest rickz

Here Is How to "Pay Back" HR Devils

When you get hired, make sure to get a copy of your job description on day one. Keep a dang job journal, people - write down everything that happens each day at work, who was there, what was said etc. Keep detailed track of each time you're late so it can't be used against you later. DO EVERYTHING IN WRITING! Whether it is to be to your supervisor, or anyone higher than that. Take detailed photos of your entire work environment, if it's labor. If they change the job description and give you new copies, SAVE the old ones. If you have cause to possibly sue, do not bother to count on the state agency for an investigation that involves your best interests. Let me explain why. All the allegations you make when you file a complaint, as with Department of Fair Employment and Housing in CA., are investigated by that state's department and all it really does is prepare the company you work for by providing them with all the details of your attack plan. Most states will give you the right to sue letter up front.
—Guest Hot Sauce

This article SUCKS

All you HR people who write these BS heartless articles... I really hope someday you get fired over BS and end up in the unemployment line... a taste of your own poison when you pull power trips on good employees and ruin careers. This advice is so cold it's almost narcissistic! Is this why HR usually doesn't work on location? To avoid the "Gone Postal" scenario?
—Guest Hot Sauce

Human resources are anything but human.

It takes a special "kind" of person to be an HR... a person who lacks empathy and social skills. Even the title suggests employees are just disposable "resources". I've met a lot of HRs, mostly women and every one has this superior power trip attitude, even outside of work. (I have a relative who is a district HR for a dollar store company - total B). HR people are your worst enemy, don't forget that!
—Guest Hot Sauce


I worked as a temporary employee for a total of 8 days for a health care company and the training was not the best. It was the supervisor that was the problem. If she had a question about my job performance she would talk out loud so all of the other employees would hear her talking to me in a very rude manner when I could not grasp on to the job as quickly as she thought I should. I was nervous and could not concentrate on the project that i was doing so I was fired after 8 days on the job which I think is very little time for training.
—Guest Mary James

No Class and Cowards

I was terminated over the phone while attending the funeral of a loved one out of state, for a reason that I haven't "met their expectations." Shame on them. They definitely have no class.
—Guest imbetteroff

Terrible Advice!

Don't offer them to quit instead of participating in disciplinary action. A court would see that as termination on your part because you essentially communicated that the employee was going to be fired in the future, or they could quit there. You'd lose that case in court and you'd be sued for at least their severance pay, possibly plus damages.
—Guest BC B

One person can destroy you

I was an entry level, part-time file clerk. Got stellar reviews for the first 3 reviews and was offered full-time work. Then, it began: micromanaging with put-downs and insulting tones by the 2 paralegals I worked for. I talked to them. One sort of backed off. The other seethed with anger; it oozed from her. She complained, made up stories that I wasn't coming along fast enough and sure enough, 10 weeks after starting, I got fired. I knew the problem was this vile woman. I told HR the problem was personality, not my working abilities. They knew it, but had to do what the vile woman wanted. So much for my attempt to break into a new career. I can't say I want to put up with those egotistical, snot-nosed, glorified office-worker brats in a law firm anyway. But I feel I was really done wrong by them. Oh, and they told me in the beginning they had a hard time filling that position. Hmm, and now I know why.

Taking the Human out of Human Resources

I can't help but notice that this series of approaches does not in any way consider the well-being of the employee. While there may indeed be employees who are just lazy, wouldn't it save you a lot of time wasted giving pep talks to someone who might be clinically depressed, going through a divorce, etc., by finding out in the first place if there is a legitimate reason they're underperforming? All this time trying to motivate someone who can't be motivated, while they continue to do a bad job, until you have to fire them (which puts their life further in the hole), could instead be spent helping them obtain resources (wait... human... resources...) to help with the actual problems that are causing them to lose their motivation in the first place. Don't just recite the suggested actions from your business school textbook. Actually think about what helps companies and people. (Hi, I have pages and pages of information on how to help employees, find out why they're underperforming, care about them, coach them, etc. This article is specifically detailing what you need to do when all of the kindness failed. Please read further on the site. Susan)
—Guest Maya

Not in the Employees Best Interest-EVER!

ND is an at-will state. I was talked into a newly created job and later this position was terminated because my boss didn't like the fact that I refused to take over his volunteer position as Director of the Harley Davidson Chapter. He wanted this in return for getting me the job. Nevermind I am educated and qualified and did a great job. ONE PERSON can DESTROY another's career. BE CAREFUL OF WHO YOU WORK FOR! Companies survive...people do not!
—Guest Katherine

My Job Was Posted on the Internet

That's how I found out I was being terminated. I was surfing for a job, for my unemployed husband, and I found the listing for my job on the job boards.
—Guest Mary

Terminations Are the Worst Part....

But usually a good business decision. What do people prefer in the am or pm?
—Guest Kenner

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What Do You Not Want to Do When You're Firing Employees?

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