July 19, 2018

How to Fire People Via Email


Because I like people so much, I agonize over firing people. (Regardless of how important I am, I am human, too.) I know that these people have lives outside of work, that sometimes people depend on them to be breadwinners, and if they don’t have families, the local liquor store or a porn site is depending on them to help keep their businesses afloat. And that’s why firing someone is never easy – you can sympathize with that person as you’re sitting across from him in your office in what is thankfully your final meeting.

Fortunately, email has changed all that. All that emotion, all that thinking and sympathizing and empathizing – all that is tossed aside by one brilliant button: Send. That being said, when you’re firing someone by email, you can’t just write:
From: Richard Hlava, CEO
To: Sap
You’re fired
From: Richard Hlava, CEO
To: Sap
Important message
You’re fired. ..!.,
Richard Hlava, CEO
That’s classless. This person did some things of value during their tenure, one assumes, and they deserve to be fired with dignity and respect. Make your email sound both dignified and respectful.
From: Richard Hlava, CEO
To: Sap
Thank you for your help
Dear Sap,
I want to personally thank you for your help on recent projects – projects that I will remember forever but am unable to list off as of this moment. Without you, they probably would have never been finished until we found someone to do them.
Which reminds me, we have decided to make a change in your department, and that change is you. We have set up for you a nice compensation package equal to two-day’s pay as severance, which is one day more than we give most people. Your hard work and dedication, as you can tell by that extra day of severance pay, has not gone unnoticed.
Thank you for your service, and security should be standing right behind you to escort you out.

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