many scholars worldwide have tried to find better ways to fire employees, especially those who do not fall into the saboteur bucket. But for those who do, there is no better way than the standard Trumpian “You’re Fired!”
These words are legendary and are any employee's worst nightmare. It's perfect for an employee who is out to harm a business, you know, the cancer that ends up eating away your organisation. They either steal from the company or are downright incompetent.
Employees react differently to different firing methods. Every employee, including the cancerous ones, generally like being praised even as they get fired. You know, something like: "You did a good job here and we have no doubt that you will succeed in whatever you choose to do next"...
That's rubbish! An employee must know that they are being fired [and that being fired is not good]. That way, they will not repeat the same offence wherever they may go thereafter.
Call the employee to your office and tell them exactly what the problem is and then end the conversation with; "You are fired!" This might sound like a statement that may hold aggravating legal risks but it actually doesn't. Stick to the basics. Say as little as possible, get the person out of the office quickly and have them sign a separation document agreeing not to contact clients or sue.
Make sure the email is scanned and computers are confiscated. Let a security guard and the HR escort them out of your office to gather their belongings and surrender all company stuff. This is because terminated employees can’t be trusted and may have criminal intentions. Give the employee 15 minutes to pack up personal belongings and be escorted out of the front door.
According to a study I once read sometime back on the Journal of Business Ethics, having a third party in the room “is viewed as demonstrating a lack of respect.” But don't worry, because it is actually security for you. Terminated employees often have different reactions, volatile mostly - depending on how the firing has affected their personal or professional lives. It is a known fact that employees terminated this way are more unlikely to sign the severance document and are most likely to sue. But worry not, because that's just a normal emotional reaction. Provided you make clear with regards to the reasons for their termination, they will find going to labour courts and involving expensive lawyers to be a waste of their time and money. After all, a smart employee will always heed the warning signs that their job may be in jeopardy and exit on their own terms after acknowledging the offence.
I know saying the words "you are fired" is hard to tell some managers and are known to hurt employees. But it serves as a lesson.
Kind words and treatment with dignity must be reserved for employees let go for reasons like redundancy and others. It may leave a bad taste in the mouths of the employees left behind but equally important is the fact that they will [no doubt] heed the consequences of foul play or incompetence. The best lesson for a terminated employee will forever be the treatment they received on their way out.
"You are fired" should be followed by "Get your numb nuts outta here!"