Colin Barry

Optional Firing Workshop (FD, Monday, Week 14)


-- Context for early-stage companies is different
=> Typically not the same "runway" for employees to improve as large firms
=> Typically a lot more firings

-- Two types of firing: performance-related vs. direction/fit-related
-- Neither should come as a surprise. Do quarterly reviews, other good management practices.

Where: Conference room, no interior windows
When: Early in the week, late in the day
Who: Manager plus one other "company voice" (HR, COO, CFO, etc.)
What: All paperwork ready in advance; have answers to any conceivable question
How: Get straight to the point.
-- Don't get involved in deep conversation or debate.
-- Stick to observables, not impressions.
-- Do make confirming remarks about former employee's character if relevant ("appreciate your hard work," "value your dedication," etc.)
-- Emphasize finality.

Other thoughts:
-- Threat of termination is a slippery slope.
-- Don't drag it out.
-- Think about what you want out of the former employee, post-departure. It's probably not "nothing."
-- Don't tell other employees that someone their co-worker was fired; tell them his/her last day was XXX (maybe exceptions for felony). "Circumstances surrounding his/her departure were personal and confidential" or something.
Would you want other people to know that you were fired, or what you were fired for? No.