Advice from Jean-Louis Gassée
Jean-Louis Gassée has offered advice on the HR-less performance review, and now also has a post on Firing well. In both cases while I, and BP3, don’t do it the way Jean-Louis advises, our approach is closer to his than to the standard HR manual.
If the dreaded day comes, I assume you’ll already understand that things aren’t working. No perp walk across the floor to my office, I’ll walk into yours, close the door, ask permission to sit down, and state my business. I’ve made a decision: You have to leave the company.
I’ll tell you that the decision was made after thoughtful deliberation, and it won’t be reconsidered. I won’t suffer you the indignity of Why, I’ll only want to discuss the How, what I’m prepared to offer. It will be generous, and it will be accompanied by a Covenant Not To Sue, sundry legal verbiage that caters to reparations, confidentiality, and not taking one another to Court. I’d rather give money to you and your family than to lawyers.
I think the key is that you want to treat your employees with respect on the way in and on the way out. What ever your process is, it should be one that you believe in, that you would want if you were on the receiving end, and one that has integrity. I think he hits it on the head to focus on the how and the what, not the why. There are good reasons for that, but one of the best reasons is that as someone is exiting your firm, the last thing that person needs is to have their confidence trampled on any further than the act of termination already effects.