Remotely Firing an Employee: A Guide

It is crucial to handle the matter of an underperforming employee who is negatively impacting the team. It is time to take decisive action. Hence, I recommend evaluating the implementation of methods to dismiss employees remotely.

With over a decade of experience managing both remote and on-site teams, I am familiar with the benefits that accompany leadership roles. However, certain responsibilities, including the challenging duty of terminating an employee, can be undesirable.

Below, you will find an overview of the steps and techniques I have devised for conducting a remote employee termination that:

  • Appears to be a solution that can meet everyone’s needs
  • Minimize the impact of the employee’s feelings of loss
  • It is essential for a good night’s sleep

Controlling the Costs of an Employee Termination

Become a Leader with Greater Effectiveness.

Certain employers opt to terminate their employees abruptly and without any clarification, leaving them feeling disheartened. This scenario can be compared to receiving a text message from an ex-partner stating, “It’s over; it’s not you, it’s me; I need time for myself, blah blah blah”. As a manager, it is recommended to treat employees with the respect that they deserve and offer transparent communication regarding any alterations in their employment status.

Before conducting a remote employee termination, ask yourself, “How can I make this situation as equitable as possible for the employee?”

Although this is an unpleasant circumstance, the one being dismissed will not be you. It is essential to approach the situation with empathy while also considering factors such as performance and compensation.

In a perfect world, your agreement would outline specific expectations for both parties. However, in reality, this is not always feasible. It may not be financially viable to retain an employee until the conclusion of the month, and it is plausible that your contract does not cover this scenario. Thus, it is recommended to evaluate the staff’s accomplishments to determine if they have met their monthly goals.

As a reminder, place “IMPROVE CONTRACTS” prominently on your computer screen.

(Please note that delegating these responsibilities to an HR or contracting company can reduce a considerable amount of pressure. We are Works, by the way.)

If the answer is ‘No’, it is crucial to find a middle ground that works for all involved. Evaluate their prior performance and the remaining work that must be accomplished before they depart.

Allow Them to Finish Important Projects

Permitting them to complete their ongoing assignment, even if they are performing admirably, can be advantageous in preparation for the next recruitment process.

Providing employees with adequate time to complete their duties is crucial. Regardless of how an individual is departing their role, it is probable that it will have an adverse impact on team morale. Thus, it is best to execute the transition as swiftly and efficiently as possible, reminiscent of samurai characters in classic Japanese films. Neglecting to address this matter could result in unnecessary emotional turmoil for all parties involved.

If the position cannot remain vacant for a considerable duration or at all, it might be necessary to contemplate hiring new staff before contemplating redundancies. Clearly, this is far from an optimal scenario.

Introducing the new team member gradually could be advantageous. Despite attempts to maintain confidentiality during the hiring process, it can create a sense of unease. It can be challenging to observe an individual work while their future is uncertain, so it may be helpful to share this information with them prior to commencing the recruitment process.

Ensure They Are Informed Before the Rest of the Team

It is recommended to wait until the employee is informed of the circumstances before notifying the rest of the team. This enables the employee to decide for themselves, which implies that some team members may find out before the rest.

When deciding how to manage the situation, it is vital to take into account the departing employee’s priorities. Certain choices may not be feasible depending on their position and the team’s composition. Nonetheless, it is critical to allow the employee to exit in a manner that aligns with their preferences.

Don’t Overlook the Necessity of Safety and Security

Before the meeting, it is crucial to ensure that access to confidential corporate data has been deactivated. If the workplace is a physical structure, security personnel should escort the individual out of the building. It is critical to establish a precise endpoint to convey this information during “The Conversation”. We will be in touch to organise a convenient time for the individual to return to their workspace and perform any necessary clean up.

Keywords: security personnel, corporate files.

5 Steps to Follow when Terminating Someone Remotely

Ensure That Your Motives Are Honourable.

It is crucial to have legitimate grounds for dismissing a remote staff member. If an employee has been meeting expectations but has recently started to perform poorly, it is preferable to explore other options to address the issue, such as communicating with the employee.

Keywords: remote worker, terminate.

If an individual’s performance remains unsatisfactory even after repeated discussions, to the detriment of the team’s productivity, it may be necessary to terminate their employment.

Keywords: performance, conversations, team output.

Develop an Offboarding Plan

The offboarding procedure is a critical element of dismissing remote employees. Both the recruitment and offboarding of team members necessitate meticulous planning and thought. As a result, a calculated and comprehensive approach is required.

Keywords: offboarding, termination, remote workers.
  • Ensure that the departing staff member has thoroughly documented all of their responsibilities.
  • Revoke their access to any corporate funds.
  • Ensure that they return any company equipment they are using.
  • Handle bonus and salary management, as well as any other HR-related responsibilities.

Communicate Clearly and Concisely

Firing an employee is never a simple task, especially when done remotely. Nonetheless, it is crucial to ensure that the employee comprehends the grounds for the dismissal. A straightforward and truthful conversation is preferable to drawing out the discussion, as this may prevent the employee from fully grasping the situation.

Keywords: terminating, employee, discussion, remotely.

It is with regret that I must inform you of the termination of your employment with our company. I want to assure you that this decision was not taken lightly and was made with careful deliberation.

Keywords: termination, employment, careful consideration.

Typically via Video Call

Terminating a remote worker can be emotionally taxing. If feasible, face-to-face communication should be utilized as the most effective method of delivering such news. Although the absence of in-person interaction may hinder the ability to offer tangible comfort, words of encouragement and support can still be provided.

Keywords: remote termination, face-to-face communication, emotional challenge, support.

Using Zoom (or a similarly efficient video conferencing tool) is recommended to simplify and streamline the termination process for both parties involved. It is important to note that some employees may react negatively, so it is important to be prepared for any potential reactions.

Keywords: Zoom, video platform, termination process, employees, potential reactions.

Notify the Team

After conversing with the employee, the subsequent step is to relay the information to the rest of the team. It is suggested to inform them via phone and explain the grounds for the termination. Alternatively, the announcement can be made through Slack or email.

Keywords: conversation, employee, team, telephone, termination, announcement.

Process for Terminating a Remote Worker

Before initiating a discussion, it is crucial to take a moment to evaluate one’s posture. Being excessively nonchalant or at ease can convey a lack of respect, hence it is necessary to approach the situation with compassion and empathy.

Keywords: posture, discussion, casual, respectful, compassion, empathy.

It is unfortunate, but evident that this individual does not contribute enough value to justify their continuation as part of our team or organization. Therefore, the best course of action is to terminate their employment.

Keywords: regrettable, value, staff, organization, employment, termination.

Considering this, let us aim to minimize any avoidable distress. Your body language holds great importance in this scenario. Video conferencing is vital for communicating with remote employees. It may be tempting to terminate an employee over the phone, but it is not recommended since it might lead to regret in the long term, despite being a more convenient option in the short term.

Keywords: distress, body language, video conferencing, remote employees, termination, regret.

After getting settled, it is advisable to avoid engaging in small talk which may create an uncomfortable environment. As it is apparent that a problem exists, it would be best to address it promptly without any delay. Let us get straight to the matter at hand.

Keywords: settled, small talk, uncomfortable atmosphere, problem, discussion, straight to the point.

To be transparent with you, it is evident that our working relationship is not thriving. As we cannot continue your employment, I would like to schedule a meeting with you to establish a mutually acceptable approach for ending our working relationship. I have a suggested framework that can be utilized as-is or modified to meet your requirements.

Keywords: upfront, working relationship, not succeeding, meeting, end, proposed framework, mutually acceptable, modified.

All aspects of the situation must be taken into account. Treating the employee as an equal in the discussion is crucial, and we must both acknowledge it. In order to reach a decision, it is necessary to be definitive and straightforward. As we cannot keep the employee in their present position, it is important to be direct and concise. This decision is final and cannot be challenged. The expression “You’re fired!” is an effective and decisive way to conclude the conversation.

Keywords: components, employee, equal, discussion, decision, direct, final, contested, fired.

What is the next step from here?

Perhaps it would be best to endeavour to be as supportive as possible.

“Why not try to assist? I am going to terminate this person’s employment!”

Yes, we have faced this circumstance before. We are referring to you, unfortunately. It is an unpleasant situation, which we discussed a few paragraphs earlier. Let us put aside any sense of guilt and explore how we can offer assistance to the terminated employee.

Keywords: encountered, referring to, not positive, few paragraphs ago, set aside, support, lost their job.

The most effective means of showing your support is to offer immediate aid in their job search. If there are other elements, aside from their inadequate skills, that have contributed to their predicament, addressing them should be relatively simple.

Keywords: prompt assistance, job search, demonstrate support, other factors, lack of competence, straightforward.

A departing employee may be given a letter of recommendation, which can be highly beneficial. I have personally found it uncomplicated to offer genuine admiration for employees who have had to depart due to changes in the company’s direction. Additionally, I have made sure to enhance their resumes and online profiles with glowing commendations and, if feasible, to facilitate connections with potential employers.

Keywords: letter of recommendation, departing employees, sincere praise, change in company’s focus, supplement, resumes, online profiles, glowing recommendations, connections, potential employers.

Although this situation is not prone to occur frequently, it can be considered a successful resolution of a potentially challenging scenario involving all three parties, culminating in a favourable result for all involved. This is an admirable accomplishment.

Keywords: unlikely, successful transformation, potentially difficult situation, three parties, positive outcome, admirable outcome.

In the event of unsatisfactory job performance and subsequent termination, it can be challenging to offer support while working remotely. Nevertheless, there is still cause for optimism.

Keywords: employee, unsatisfactory performance, dismissal, difficult, provide support, working remotely, situation, hope, optimism.

It may be worthwhile to contemplate whether this individual would be a good match for another organization. While it is true that not all individuals can meet the same expectations, certain companies may find value in them. As a result, a reference could be given, even if it is not completely favourable.

Keywords: worth considering, individual, good fit, another organization, level of expectations, advantageous, reference, not wholly positive.

It is essential to concentrate on the person in front of you rather than reminiscing about any errors committed by a former colleague. Each individual has something to contribute, and by exerting oneself, one can guarantee that the most is obtained from the scenario.

Keywords: important, focus, individual, dwelling, mistakes, previous colleague, something to offer, effort, most, made of the situation.

To help an individual thrive, it is crucial to offer constructive criticism. When presenting feedback, it is imperative to bear in mind two key factors:

Keywords: important, provide, constructive criticism, succeed, feedback, essential, ensure, two points, kept in mind.

It is imperative to guarantee that your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. If uncertain, feel free to inquire. It is not suitable to offer counsel to a terminated employee unless specifically asked.

Keywords: essential, ensure, opinion, input, valued, doubt, ask, appropriate, offer advice, employee, dismissed.

Make sure they understand the productive intent of your remarks. However, please understand that this is not an opportunity for a second chance, and the choice to terminate their employment is final.

Keywords: ensure, aware, constructive nature, comments, second chance, decision, terminate, employment, made.

Offering feedback on the performance of the concerned individual is significant. It is recommended to be mindful of their emotional wellbeing and to not use excessive language or labour the point. It’s best to take a diplomatic stance, similar to that of a special forces unit: assess the situation and offer constructive feedback before departing.

Keywords: important, provide feedback, performance, individual, advisable, sensitive, emotional state, overelaborate, strong language, approach, diplomatic, special forces team, take stock, situation, constructive feedback, departing.

If none of the available choices fit the bill, please rest assured that we will go to great lengths to ensure a seamless transition. Let us now review what this involves.

Keywords: available options, suitable, rest assured, utmost, smooth transition, discuss, entails, review, involves.

Final Thoughts

To be completely honest, it’s rare to terminate remote workers since they usually deliver excellent results and outcomes. Thanks to our exclusive procedure,finding and managing remote workers is much simpler. We not only locate the most suitable remote worker for you, but we also handle all financial and human resources aspects of the job. Are you interested? If yes, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Keywords: complete honesty, uncommon, terminate, remote workers, successful, output, outcomes, unique process, finding, managing, financial, human resources, job, interest, get in touch.

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