More Considerations when Firing Someone

Lesson 4: Topic 8 of 14

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Retrieve company property on the spot, especially employee ID and keys. Immediately end building and computer access. But do not embarrass or belittle him. Never lose sight of the need to respect the outgoing employee’s dignity and rights, even if you dislike, distrust, or disrespect this individual. If this is an already troubled person, the last thing you want to do is to leave him with the feeling that the use of violence is justified ― or worse, that he has no other recourse. 

After you’re forced to deal with a dangerous staffer (or one you fear might have become a danger), you’ll want to figure out why things went wrong in the first place. Take time to reflect on the history of this person’s interactions with you and others at work. Perhaps there were red flags that you missed then but that now seem obvious in retrospect. You had a ‘gut feel’ that this person wasn’t a good match for the position and should never have been hired to begin with. That odd remark that you brushed off at the time. The little problems you now wish had been dealt with immediately instead of hoping they’d go away, or that you were too busy to address when they occurred. Or you felt your hands were tied by policies (or lack of them). 

The point is not guilt or recrimination. Focus on the goal of preventing the violence from happening in the future. What needs to change to improve safety?