Today, I’m sure we all heard the news of how Radio Shack terminated 400 employees by email. Definitely, not the type of news you want to hear via email. Granted, Radio Shack defends itself by saying they alerted employees in advance that the bad news would be delivered that way, but it still doesn’t make it any easier to digest. Would it have been that difficult to sit down with someone for five or ten minutes and deliver the news in person? The only thing they seem to have done well was to demoralize their work staff.
If you find yourself in the position of having to terminate an employee try to do it in person, whenever possible and circumstances allowing. Also, handle the matter confidentially and privately. Explain the reasons why the employee is being terminated and what they need to do next. Document not only your decision to fire the employee, but the employee’s reaction to the firing as well and place it in their personnel file. Finally, and most importantly, treat that individual with respect and common courtesy. It truly goes along way.