Getting fired can be an incredibly traumatic experience. By following these rules, you can make an uncomfortable situation as smooth as possible for all parties.

Do: Make Sure You Are Prepared

It is not a good idea to fire someone on the spot. Unless the individual’s actions were particularly egregious, you should take some time to think through things and make sure that you are fully prepared. This includes reviewing your company guidelines and making sure any necessary paperwork is taken care of. You should also pick an appropriate time and place. In general, it is best not to fire someone on a Friday or before a holiday. This allows the terminated employee to access any health resources they may need to cope with this challenging experience.

Do Not: Embarrass the Employee

Being fired can feel humiliating. During this time, you should try and show as much respect to the individual as you can. It is essential to outline the reasons why they are being let go, but you should do this objectively, leaving out any personal feelings or commentary. When someone feels insulted on top of everything else, they may be more likely to head over to social media to air their grievances, which puts the company’s reputation at risk.

Do: Have Another Person Present

The person delivering the news should be someone who works directly with the individual being let go. Additionally, having a witness is also essential for legal reasons. It is always best to have someone from the HR department in the room who can help keep the conversation on track and respectful. You may also decide to have someone escort the employee off of the premises.

Do Not: Be Unclear or Give False Hope

This is tied to showing the employee respect. It is crucial that the employee knows that this decision is final and not up for negotiation. Make sure that you start the conversation stating right away that they are being let go; use clear and direct language so that there is no way that they could have a different impression of the situation.

Do: Leave on a High Note

You should offer your help and provide the terminated employee with resources to jumpstart their job search – within reason, of course. This could include providing a reference letter. It is in everyone’s best interest that the individual secures a new position as soon as possible.