It’s definitely easier to say than to do to fire a problematic employee. Make sure everything is in order and the procedure is being followed correctly before firing someone. Uncomfortable circumstances or even legal problems that could harm your company could result from firing someone too quickly or without following the correct procedures.

Seasoned guidance on how to terminate employees

Business News Daily consulted experts and professionals in human resources to get their best guidance on firing workers. These 15 tips should make the process a little bit easier.

1. First, give the employee a chance to perform better (or quit).

“It’s difficult to learn that you’ve hired the wrong person or that the candidate you had high hopes for isn’t happy in their current role, especially for small businesses. The reality is that you need to exert control over the situation, even though it might seem simpler to just cross your fingers and hope things get better. The best course of action is to speak with this person and voice your concerns. Give them the chance to decide for themselves whether or not this is the best fit. In some instances, after just that conversation, the employee may quit on their own.” – Rikka Brandon, consultant for hiring and recruiting

2. Prepare by getting everything in order.

To ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, “practice what you’re going to say to the employee and make sure all the necessary paperwork is in order. Make a list of talking points if you worry that your nerves will get in the way. You must, at the very least, explain to the employee the procedure for leaving the building, returning company property, how long benefits will last, etc. – Amanda Haddaway, managing director of HR Answerbox

3. Pick an appropriate time and location.

Plan the date, time, and location; I prefer a weekday other than Friday. [Do it] at a time when the effects on business are the least noticeable, such as during lunch. Conference rooms are useful locations. – Greg Szymanski, director of human resources at Geonerco Management

Advice for firing employees

Even though it’s not always an easy choice to fire an employee, there are some situations where it makes sense.  Employees may be let go for subpar work, dishonest or unethical statements or behavior, property damage, or infractions of company rules.

However, you are not permitted to fire employees in retaliation or on the basis of their immigration status or refusal to submit to lie detector tests.

At some point, almost all business owners must fire a worker, but doing so is never a pleasant experience. When you fire someone and then get served with a wrongful termination lawsuit, it is much worse. 

Technically, you don’t need a reason to fire an employee if your employment contracts state that employment with your company is at will. You can fire your employees for any reason that isn’t prohibited by law if you employ them on an at-will basis, which is only prohibited in Montana. In addition to being able to do so legally, there are many other factors that support firing an employee.