Making an employee redundant or terminating someone’s employment is never easy. Taking the personal element away from this decision is often difficult, particularly if the individual has worked with you over a long period of time.
Once you have made the decision to let someone go, don’t let in linger. Ensure you have a plan in place to cover the client deliverables and work this person manages. Book a time to convey your decision to the individual, explain the redundancy or termination process and their entitlements and be prepared to remove your emotion. People respond to hearing this news very differently, and you need to prepare yourself for how they will react.
The employee is going to also find it very difficult to face other employees, so arrange for someone to explain what has happened and take the other employees off site for the remainder of the afternoon. Generally your team will understand the decision, be aware of the situation and be supportive.
The employee who becomes redundant may be bitter, and say hurtful things about both you and your company. But as the employer you need to learn to expect this and rise above it. Not let it consume you and make you feel guilty. If you have done the right thing, honoured their entitlements and always treated them well, you have nothing to feel bad about.
Sure they are going to communicate their feelings to others, but over time one of two things will happen. This person will grow and mature as they become more experienced in other roles and have to deal with business decisions like this themselves. This person will learn to respect you and the decision you made. Alternatively, they will continue to be resentful, as they refuse to take ownership for why they were let go, and reflect on their own behaviour, attitude and lack of value they provided to the business.
So if you know you need to make someone redundant, make it happen, don’t avoid it. Letting it linger will only create negativity within your team and put unnecessary stress upon yourself. In time you will look back and be proud that you have made the tough decisions. Your team will respect you for it, and your business will flourish as you no longer have the overheads of someone who is not adding value. So take away the personal attachment, put a plan in place, follow through and focus on the future.