How do you fire a committed employee?

By Tayo Leigh

 03 Nov 2015     Comments

Some of the most important qualities of a good employee are that they are committed to the organisation and are reliable, but is that really enough? Quite often, employers find themselves in a position where their most loyal employee is no longer beneficial to the organisation and although it is a difficult decision to make, they may not be able to keep them on.
As a business develops, it may end up going in a completely different direction to the one it started and thus, those who helped build it, may no longer have a place.

If you find yourself in this difficult position, these tips should give you a better understanding of how to handle the situation.

Understand Needs

The first thing you need to do in this situation is understand your needs and where the employee falls short of these. When you have a good comprehension of your needs, it will make it easier to hire someone more suitable for the role in the future. You may also want to consider using someone already employed in the organisation to fill the gap.


When you understand your needs, it will make it easier to explain this to the employee. Of course, the conversation you have with them will most probably be an awkward one but for the needs of the business, it is one you need to be able to deal with. If you can explain to the employee why they no longer fit in with the organisation needs, it will be easier to let them go without huge repercussions. The more open you are with communication, the easier it will be to handle such a situation.

Stick to Decision

The decision to let someone go should never be dragged out, as this just wastes the time of both parties and can be costly for the business. As soon as you make the decision to let someone go, it is best to deal with it and follow it to conclusion, as quickly as possible.


When someone has been employed by the company for a long time, it is understandable that you will have built a strong relationship with them, and it will be difficult to let them go. One way to soften the blow, for both you and the employee is to ask them to stay involved with the company in other capacities, such as socially. This way, they will feel that they are still liked on a personal basis and will make it easier for them to digest the fact that they are no longer required professionally. These types of decisions are often taken personally, whether they are meant that way or not. Allowing them some involvement will help them maintain pride and any relationships they have formed with colleagues.

Be Prepared

Prior to letting the employee know of your decision, make sure you are adequately prepared for what their reaction may be. They are unlikely to be happy with the outcome, so always be ready for hostility. A good way of handling hostility is to let the employee know of all their positive qualities and what they have brought to the company. You may even want to show this with a gift, to make them feel like they were valued within the business.

Have a question or need advice on recruitment in Nigeria? Contact us at

Search our database today for top talent.


comments powered by Disqus