A Brief Guide on Confidently Terminating Interns and Employees


A Brief Guide on Confidently Terminating Interns and Employees


There’s probably no worse task for managers than having to fire an employee.

There’s a good chance it makes you feel really bad like you’re doing something wrong. If not, you may be angry because of the situation that ledA�to this point, or nervous about how the employee will handle it.

But in the end, we all know that firing bad employees saves us from doing something much worse – firing good ones.

We’re going to take you through it with aA�step-by-step guideA�to help you feel more confident when termination is the right option and make sure it’s handled in a way that avoids further problems.

Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

1. Go over past performance reviews.

Have you given them positive reviews recently? In cases of a severe infraction, this may not be a problem. If youa��ve got a documented paper trail of warnings skip to step 3. Need a form, we’ve got aA�downloadable, printable employee evaluation form,A�employee discipline form, and anA�employee write up form.

2. Document issues, and make the employee aware of them.

If youa��re considering firing them for performance, start documenting problems and pointing them out the employee when they happen.

3. Schedule another review.

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Arrange a meeting to review their performance as soon as possible, and talk to them about exactly what the issues are and how they can fix them.

Give them a probation period during which they must fix the problems, and let them know that termination is a possible outcome. Be sure to file detailed notes on the review.

4. Check in with the employee during their probation period.

As the deadline approaches, check in with the employee and let them know where they stand. If theya��re headed for termination, you dona��t want it to be a surprise. They should know exactly where they are falling short, and what it means to their job.

5. Dona��t procrastinate when it comes to firing.

If you get to the end of the probation period and the employee hasna��t met the standards, terminate as soon as possible. Dona��t let a week drag by with everyone wondering whata��s going to happen. Fire them early in the week, preferably on a Monday.

6. Keep the termination meeting short, stick to the facts, be clear and firm.

At the termination meeting, dona��t fall into blame or arguing. State clearly that they a�?have been terminateda�? using the past tense. Dona��t leave room for negotiation. Have someone from HR or another manager present as a witness.

Explain clearly what their next steps are – when theya��re expected to leave, what further benefits or severance theya��re entitled to, how to handle company property, etc. Provide aA�termination letterA�that also spells out these steps.

7. Incentivize them to sign a release.

To help your company avoid lawsuits, it may be wise to offer an incentive, such as increased severance pay, if the employee signs a release of claims form that essentially releases the company from any liability.

At many companies, it is required that terminated employees sign a release before receiving their severance package.

8. Have them leave the premises immediately.

Give the employee a chance to get their things, but have them escorted as they do so. This should be done immediately after firing. The idea is to reduce any temptation for them to damage the company while theya��re upset.

Keep security in mind during this phase. Have any keys, badges and credit cards returned and change computer passwords.