Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Terminating an Employee

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 17, 2006

An unfortunate reality of being a small-business owner is that it is sometimes necessary to terminate an employee. Many small operations do not have a human resources department or departmental managers, so the responsibility lies with you. Discharging an employee, whether due to cost containment or for cause, is never easy, but following these guidelines may help smooth the process:

1. Do your homework in advance. Know exactly why you are terminating the individual and have your facts straight.

2. Be brief. The termination meeting should be no more than 10 minutes in duration. Keep to the facts.

3. Be prepared to allow the person to collect his/her personal effects after hours or on the weekend to save face. Bear in mind, being terminated is humbling and embarrassing. Always treat the individual with dignity.

4. Avoid such platitudes as "I know how you are feeling." You probably don’t. Be firm but fair. If the person cries, let it happen no matter how uncomfortable you may feel.

There can be serious legal consequences when terminating people. Review each termination situation well in advance with an employment lawyer to see if there may be potential exposure.

John Challenger
Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Post a comment



Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!