© Copyright Carter
McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business and
Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision for Nonprofit Staff.
Strongly Suggested Pre-Reading
Sections of This Topic Include
1. You should consider firing the employee only if you’ve done the following.
a) given the employee clear indication of what you originally expected from
him or her (via a written job description previously provided to the him or
b) have clearly written personnel policies which specify conditions and directions
about firing employees and the employee initialized a copy of the policy handbook
to verify that he or she had read the policies;
c) warned the employee in successive and dated memos which clearly described
degrading performance over a specified time despite your specific and recorded
offers of assistance and any training (the number of memos depends on the nature
of the problem, but should be no more than three or four); and
d) you clearly observe the employee still having the performance problem. (Note
that if the employee is being fired within a probationary period specified in
your personnel policies, you may not have to meet all of the above conditions.)
2. Take a day or so to consider what you are about to do.
For example, consult with members of your board.
3. If you still decide to fire the employee, do so promptly.
Do this, both for your credibility with other staff members and so as not begin
procrastinating about this rather painful, upcoming event.
4. Write a letter of termination to the employee.
As with the previous letters of warning, be clear about the observed behaviors,
when you saw them, earlier warnings and their consequences, what you did in
response, and the consequence that must now be enacted according to your policies.
5. Tell the computer system administrator to change the employee’s password.
. Assert that this action should be done promptly and in complete confidence.
6. Meet with the employee. Provide them the letter. Explain how the termination
Include explanation of when, what they must do, what you request from them and
when. Ask for any keys. Give them a half hour or so to remove personal items
(you may choose to monitor them during this removal, depending on the nature
of the grounds for dismissal). Consider changing the door locks to the facilities.
Change the passwords on phone systems, if applicable.
7. As with other meetings, make notes of what was said and exchanged.
Keep them in your records.
Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Firing an Employee
In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs
that have posts related to Firing an Employee. Scan down the blog’s page to
see various posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the
sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in
the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.
For the Category of Supervision:
To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may
want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.
Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been
selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.