top of page

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Unfortunately, every business has its moments when managers are forced to terminate certain employees. It is never a fun job. In fact, it is probably one of the most hated responsibilities for managers. Not only do you have to be the one to tell the individual that he or she is no longer needed, but you also are the one who generally makes the final decision as to whether the person keeps the job. If only the process could be neat, clean, simple, and easy.

Although having to get rid of employees is never neat and clean and simple, signs do exist that can tell managers when they have an employee who is on his or her way out.

  • Lack of progress or follow through – he or she just can’t seem to get the job done.

  • Disregard for organizational process or procedure – he or she does his or her own thing

  • Lack of trust

  • A poor attitude that is infectious

Once you’ve determined you have a candidate for someone who needs to say “goodbye,” you now need to take the proper steps to terminate the employee. Before you terminate the person, though, give him or her every opportunity to get back on board and do their job to the required level. First, create an outline for improvement for the individual. The outline should be clear, have goals, with examples when possible, and be concise. Set a 30-day deadline, and share the outline with upper management and HR as well, so that everybody is on the same page.

Once your outline for improvement is complete, have an honest conversation with the employee. Share the outline with him or her and stress that he or she has 30 days in which to show improvement.

During the 30 days, check in with the employee regularly to see how he or she is doing. Does he or she have any questions? Don’t be naïve, though. Be looking for the employee’s replacement during this time as well. The worst that happens is you don’t need to hire him.

By the end of the 30 days, you will either have a transformed employee who will continue on to be the kind of worker you both need and desire, or you will be forced to let him go and hire someone to take his place. By taking the time to clearly communicate with your employees, though, you know that you have done everything in your power to help make the employee into the best worker possible.


Nation's Executive Search Group is sought out by leaders in Enterprise Risk Management, Marketing Services and Decision Analytics for mission critical sales and marketing leadership talent.

For more information, email or call Rob at 410.827.0180,


bottom of page