Tutorial for “Dismiss an Employee For Poor Performance or Unacceptable Behavior”

Tips

You may send this letter to confirm the termination after you have discussed it with the employee. Clearly state the facts and reasons for dismissal. Be honest and matter of fact, and don't try to soften the blow just to protect the employee's ego. Any statements you make may be used against you if the employee tries to challenge the decision. You need not include all the reasons for the termination, although you should keep full documentation of them on file. Do not write impolitely or with anger, because it could come back to haunt you if the employee decides to challenge your decision legally.

Steps

1. Review the situation, possibly including the reasons for termination.

Sentences

  • We all have opportunities to learn from our errors, but we don't always take advantage of them. Although management has given you several such opportunities, you have not responded to them.
  • We have repeatedly reminded you of the need to improve your performance but have seen no improvement over the last two months. We first informed you of the problem in a memo dated February 6. Two other memos followed the first one.
  • We have worked together for several years now, so writing this letter is especially difficult. After several warnings, your attendance record remains unacceptable.
  • Since we hired you on March 23, 2005, your performance has been unacceptable. We have repeatedly discussed the problem with you. Documented discussions, both oral and written, are in your personnel file.
  • The question of your future employment with Doe Corporation has led us to review your file. We have discussed your performance with your supervisor and have reached a conclusion.
  • Your probationary term with Doe Corporation has ended, and we have reviewed your performance. We have held extensive conversations with your supervisors to see what improvement you have made since the January 22 memo.
  • As you know, we have asked you on at least five occasions to be more thorough in your work here at Doe Corporation. The quality of your last three reports leads us to question your potential. They were not only late but incomplete and, therefore, useless to our managers.

Phrases

  • after a careful investigation
  • as you are already aware
  • based this decision solely on
  • depend on effective teamwork
  • difficulty working as part of a team
  • during this probationary period
  • have documented our discussions
  • have seen no improvement
  • have discussed this with you before
  • have been more than fair
  • have contravened the
  • have not taken the opportunity to
  • have failed to take the opportunity to
  • have left us no other choice but to
  • have tried to be understanding
  • have given you ample warning
  • have reviewed your
  • repeatedly informed you that
  • in an effort to prolong the inevitable
  • many opportunities to improve your performance
  • on your performance record
  • on discussing your performance with
  • ongoing problems with
  • previous written warnings
  • repeatedly asked you to put more effort into
  • reports were not only late but
  • seen no improvement in
  • since our discussion on
  • terms of our employment contract
  • time and again we have
  • unable to employ those who
  • unwilling to put in the effort to
  • were hired with the understanding that
  • would have liked to avoid this

2. Clearly state your decision to terminate the reader's employment. Avoid appearing hostile or overly apologetic.

Sentences

  • We feel we have given you adequate time to improve. Your inaction leaves us no choice but to terminate your employment with Doe Corporation, effective October 31.
  • As a result, we request your resignation, effective July 17.
  • I regret having to tell you that as of May 22, Doe Corporation will no longer require your service.
  • After several long discussions with John Doe, we have concluded that it is best for you to leave the company.
  • Because we have explained to you the seriousness of this problem and you have yet to remedy it, we are forced to terminate your employment with Doe Corporation, effective September 29.
  • After much serious deliberation, we have come to the difficult conclusion that we cannot continue to employ you.
  • Although leaving a company is never easy, there are times when it is the best solution for all parties. From the information in your memo and from our own observation, we believe that such is the case here.
  • I am writing on behalf of the management of Doe Corporation. At a special staff meeting yesterday we decided to ask you to submit your resignation.

Phrases

  • after much deliberation
  • after several discussions with
  • ask you to submit your resignation
  • because of your lack of productivity
  • cannot continue to sign pay checks for work not completed
  • expect to receive your resignation by
  • feel obliged to let you go
  • find it necessary to release you from our employ
  • has made our decision inevitable
  • have given you adequate time to
  • have given you ample time to
  • have no other choice but to request
  • have concluded that the best thing for all is
  • in the best interests of
  • lack of success during your probationary period
  • must ask you to leave the company
  • no longer need your services
  • regret to inform you that
  • regret that your position has been
  • request your immediate resignation
  • request your resignation
  • seek other employment
  • the best thing for all concerned is
  • to terminate your association with
  • to terminate your employment at
  • understand that employment is based upon
  • will no longer require your services
  • your actions leave us no alternative

3. Add any necessary explanations not included at the beginning of your letter. Avoid making unnecessary statements simply to protect the employee's feelings.

Sentences

  • I know you will be leaving many friends, but we see no other option. We feel this is the best thing to do.
  • As you know, our sales have dropped dramatically since we appointed you manager. In addition, we continually receive complaints from both customers and employees about your inappropriate language and behavior.
  • In addition to your poor attendance, we have received many complaints about the way you treat customers. Your action leaves us no other choice.
  • Since you were named manager, employee morale has fallen dramatically. Sales have also dropped off, and there are discrepancies in your record keeping. We feel that someone else may be better suited to manage your group.
  • These decisions are always difficult, but we feel we have been fair. We warned you several times about the problems in the Publications Department and asked you to make the appropriate changes, but to date these have not materialized.

Phrases

  • according to your performance record
  • after discussing your performance with
  • after a careful investigation
  • as you already know
  • have based the decision solely on
  • depend on effective teamwork
  • during this probationary period
  • failed to take the opportunity to
  • left us no other choice but to
  • asked you to
  • tried to be understanding
  • given you ample warning
  • failed to live up to
  • given you ample opportunity to
  • repeatedly been
  • have reviewed your
  • documented our discussions
  • have been more than fair
  • discussed this with you before
  • have seen no improvement
  • have contravened the
  • in an effort to
  • many opportunities to improve your performance
  • may be better suited to some other
  • on discussing your performance with
  • on your performance record
  • ongoing problems with
  • previous written warnings
  • repeatedly requested you
  • seen no improvement in
  • since we discussed your performance
  • time and again we have
  • unable to employ those who
  • unwilling to put in the effort to
  • hired you with the understanding that
  • would have liked to avoid this

4. If appropriate, include any relevant information regarding severance pay, insurance, or company policies regarding letters of reference, etc.

Sentences

  • After termination, your pay will continue for two full months, based on your five years of service with Doe Corporation.
  • Your severance pay will allow you time to locate new opportunities.
  • We will, of course, abide by the company policy and will not give the reason for your dismissal to anyone asking for such information. If asked, we will verify only the dates of your employment, your title, and your salary.
  • Following company policy, we will supply prospective employers with information only about the dates you were hired and when your employment ended.
  • Let me assure you that we will adhere to our policy on giving references in such terminations; that is, we release only your employment dates and job title. We will verify your salary only if the caller has already obtained that information from you.
  • We have decided to continue your salary and benefits through the end of December and believe that should be sufficient time for you to find employment elsewhere.

Phrases

  • can make no financial restitution
  • can grant no financial compensation for
  • continue your salary and benefits through the end of
  • if you have any questions
  • insurance coverage is scheduled to expire on
  • meet with you as soon as possible to address
  • pay will continue for
  • please schedule an appointment to discuss
  • release only your employment dates and your job title
  • request that you clear your desk
  • will send the check to your home as soon as
  • to give you time to find employment elsewhere
  • will receive salary through the last day worked
  • expect you to work through the end of
  • will adhere to our policy on giving references
  • will receive your final check on
  • will receive the standard severance pay
  • will not give the reason for your dismissal to anyone
  • will abide by company policy
  • will receive a lump sum equivalent to
  • will verify your salary only if
  • will receive the customary
  • will verify only your employment dates, your title, and your salary
  • will escort you off the premises
  • will take effect immediately
  • will receive salary and benefits for

5. Close on an encouraging note.

Sentences

  • You have high potential. We trust you will find a new position more in harmony with your interests.
  • I will be happy to help you in any way I can, now and in the future.
  • We wish you success in finding a new job.
  • We hope you will soon find other employment that allows you to use your skills and experience more productively.
  • We wish you success in your future work.
  • If you take this as a learning experience to grow from, you may find real success in your future career. You do have many strengths that can ensure success.
  • I am confident that you will easily find work more suited to your interests and abilities.
  • We very much regret having to take this action, but we extend our best wishes to you for success.

Phrases

  • am confident that you can
  • can counsel you on
  • extend our best wishes to you
  • feel free to contact us
  • find work more suited to your
  • find a position elsewhere
  • have no doubt you will soon
  • have real potential
  • have the potential to become
  • have the ability to
  • have many talents
  • hope you will soon find other employment
  • hope to hear good things from you in the future
  • hope you will be happier in your next
  • more suited to your interests
  • start off with a clean slate
  • will find more satisfaction at
  • wish you every success in the future
  • wish you success in finding a new job

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