Someone with Empathy

How to Fire Someone with Empathy


Have you ever been fired from a job? Probably yes, and you found the experience quite stressful and wouldn’t wish it for others or yourself again. In retrospect, this may have been a great time to learn a few things about the job industry and better understand yourself.

Being dismissed from work has a significant impact on anyone’s mental well-being. With the changing employment environment, you may find yourself in a tricky situation whereby you have to fire someone from work. Perhaps you may wonder how to fire an employee with empathy without affecting their mental health and putting them through depression.

Let’s dive in.

How to be Mindful of Employee Mental Health and Let Them Go With Compassion

Now that you are the BOSS and not getting fired, you know how painful the experience can take a toll on someone’s life. Getting fired from your dream job may inflict different emotions.

The fired employee may have to deal with money issues, stigma, and health problems. Job loss damages emotional health, and an individual has to deal with anxiety, depression, and stress. They may also engage in unhealthy activities like overeating or drinking, which can cause problems like obesity and alcoholism.

Many people who lose their jobs resort to unhealthy diets and become less physically active. Loss of a job immediately affects your food expenditure because you must prioritize your needs and have less to spend on healthy food.

Remember, healthy, fresh, and local food can be expensive and require suitable facilities or appliances to store, prepare and cook. Others don’t have any other source of money to maintain their healthy eating routines. If you are close with the employee, then you might consider sharing tips to maintain their fitness as they look for another job. Of course, most people don’t want to hear this stuff, so tread lightly. Ideas might include:

  • Consume proteins, fatty acids, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates
  • Exercise often to grow your muscles
  • Have fun as you take care of your health

Here are ways to fire an employee with understanding:

Don’t Wait for an Ethical Breach or Dramatic Event

A manager shouldn’t wait for a compromising event to fire an employee. It’s best to document cases of underperformance and establish practical situations. Coaching, training, and other useful methods can help fix problems at work.

Quiet firing may come to play if an employee is deemed lazy or looking for a compromising way to quit employment. Such a practice may be a strategy some managers may use to fire workers. It is a response to quiet quitting, a trend dominating social media platforms like TikTok.

Some employers may wait until a worker starts restricting their efforts to work or being productive to fire them. It’s a strategy many feel managers may use to ignore workers’ requests for salary increments, promotions, or better schedules and push them to quit.

Prepare Yourself for the Discussion

Practice whatever to say most thoughtfully and deliver the bad news. Try to get into your workers’ heads before delivering the bad news. Focus on the outcome and help them move on to a job that suits their skills and potential.

Don’t Surprise Workers

If employees don’t know their performance is in question or not satisfying, you shouldn’t fire them. Constructive coaching, feedback, and better performance improvement opportunities can help ease the tension and help them grow into better workers.

Consider an Alternative Role 

Sometimes some workers are not good for their team but are the best fit for an organization. Employers should find the right position or role for the worker to pursue instead of firing them. If someone excels in technical roles, you can consider them for a management role if you track their performance and capabilities.

Let the Worker Share How They Feel 

Let the employees share their feelings, especially if they have valid reasons for their performance issues. Burnout at work may be the leading cause of their underperformance. Mental problems can also lead to job dissatisfaction. However, the workers will feel listened to, are a part of the company, and are eager to change if given a second chance.

Don’t Overexplain

It’s easy to get caught in feeling bad for firing an individual. You might want to repeat the same information or over explain yourself for taking such action. Try to keep the information short and direct. You don’t want to end up using hurtful statements in the process.

Final Thoughts

Losing a job can affect an employee’s mental health and finances. An employer’s strategy to fire someone is crucial in such a situation. It is best to show compassion even if the situation dictates you fire an employee. Most importantly, you can show empathy by not humiliating the employee, leaving the mutual respect intact, and going straight to the point.

On the other side, once fired, it’s best to prevent mental health issues by focusing on what you can control, creating a plan, and taking care of yourself. Feel free to also talk to a professional and get the necessary help.

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