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11 worst ways to fire an employee

How not to fire

Dismissal is the tensest and unpleasant moment in the relationship between an employee and a manager, regardless of the reasons for which the employee leaves the company.

The situation becomes even more frustrating if the manager’s behavior on termination is outside the scope of business ethics.

I will write in other articles what an employee should do in such cases, and how an employer should properly prepare a dismissal, and in this one, I will tell you about those dismissal methods that are definitely not worth using.

“Guilty without guilt”

An employee’s immediate supervisor regularly complains to higher management about violations allegedly committed by his subordinates.

Works poorly, refuses to follow orders, is absent from the workplace, speaks negatively about the company, etc., etc. At the same time, in reality, there are no violations or remarks.

After some time, the manager, referring to the dissatisfaction of his superiors, suggests the employee part with the company. An extremely safe method that allows you to fire an employee who has no explicit complaints.

The likelihood that an employee will go to the immediate superior of his manager to investigate his dismissal and find out that he has been slandered is minimal.

7 Tips to Fire an Employee Nicely - Toggl Blog


A financially responsible person suddenly has a serious shortage. The sales manager’s client disappears along with the product.

It doesn’t matter that the manager also had a set of keys to the safe or warehouse, and he himself initiated the shipment to an unreliable client – the employee who caused damage to the company will be asked to quit.

“I don’t like you for a long time”

One fine day, the employee is informed that the manager does not like the quality of his work for a long time. The best reason to finally announce this is an offer to quit.

A far-fetched reason

“For a year of work, you have not increased your sales by 200-300-500%, which we talked about at the interview when applying for a job. Interruptions in the supply of goods, worse than competitors’ conditions, inability to staff the sales department due to low salaries of managers do not justify you. You did not work well, you did not meet expectations – goodbye.”

Explicit lie

The employee is told that his position is being cut, and he already knows that his position has been offered to a colleague from another department. In this case, termination negotiations will definitely not be easy.


The reason for dismissal, in this case, is not important at all – it can be anything.

The main argument is that if you do not quit your job, you will not receive your full salary (bonuses, interest, variable part, unofficial), you will get bad recommendations – any options are possible.

“You are laid off, 10 minutes to get ready”

Returning to the workplace, the employee discovers that access to the corporate database is closed, the mail does not work, and the security is already waiting for the moment to pick up the pass.

It is especially impressive when a security officer is sent to escort the collection of an employee who has not done anything reprehensible.

“Let’s fire under the article”

“Resign on our terms, otherwise we will dismiss” under the article “- for absenteeism, for systematic violations, such as not passed the probationary period, etc.”

Threatening an employee without having a documentary evidence base and a real readiness for litigation and inspections is, alas, a common practice.

Creating unbearable conditions

Moving the workplace from the office to the basement, taking away the client base, loading it with an unbearable amount of useless work, constantly sending it on business trips, publicly expressing unfounded claims – all this can force an employee to leave the company.

How to Properly Fire an Underachieving Employee

“Thanks for the job, you are free”

“You will receive the calculation to date and compensation for unused annual leave at the cash desk.”

This, of course, is rare, but often employers do not bother negotiating the terms of dismissal, believing that the number of payments upon dismissal can not be discussed.

This lack of attention to detail, in my experience, ends with the payment of compensation, the amount of which can reach half a year’s income of the dismissed employee.


A variation “from unbearable conditions” and “setup”. Everything that an employee tries to do is extremely difficult or impossible. Agreements are not agreed upon, work performed is not accepted, letters remain unanswered, projects are not considered. It seems like an employee himself should guess that he is not welcome. If he doesn’t guess, he is told that he is clearly not doing the job and therefore should be fired.

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