Firing an employee is not an easy task, even if you have done it before. Brett Fox, general manager at Micrel, writes that the first time he had to fire someone he had "an insomnia-inducing feeling of dread." He goes on to explain that he had to fire his employee for a sub-par performance and that the whole process, though it felt like hours, took just minutes.
Fox shares the lesson about firing someone that all employers should know:
When you fire someone, you are drastically changing a life.
No matter what you think of the person you are letting go, no matter how bad a job you feel this person has done, you are terminating the employment of a human being with feelings, a career, friends, financial issues, and a family. These are all affected when you fire someone. That's why you should dread firing anyone.
I know. I've been fired. You question everything about yourself when you've been fired. You question your intelligence, your ability, and your self-worth. It doesn't matter how accomplished you are or how much money you have. Being fired rocks your world like nothing else.
None of that should ever stop you from firing the person.