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How do you announce firings to your staff?

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John Wilcox

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in Human Resources,People Management,The HR Specialist Forum

We may have to terminate an employee who has been with us for more than 10 years and has worked with people throughout the organization. When he goes, people are going to notice. Due to the nature of the situation, I don't want to issue a detailed explanation to the rest of the staff. Can I just go with "_ _ _ _ is no longer with the company," or will that just whip the rumor mill into overdrive? Are there any realistic alternatives?—Noreen, S.F.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Peg June 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Your idea is a good one. Keep it simple and let your tone of voice show only respect for the person who is leaving. I have had comments such as “but he is always here, on time, and stays late and just seems to work so hard. This is such a shock!” My response has been that is a sign that we in management are doing our jobs properly if we are protecting the individual’s privacy and personal situation through our confidential HR procedures. You would want the same.” Then I close the book except to express some sorrow that the person has moved on.


Sarah July 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm

We send a generic email out to our staff entitled “Employee Update” and the only thing we list is the employee name, job title, department and last day. The heading we use is either “No Longer with (Company Name) or New Opportunities. We send this email out for any staffing changes


Lash LaRue July 22, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I agree that’s it’s best just to say that the person will no longer be with the company. you would also be wise to tell your internal and external customers who will filling in until a permanent hire is made.


Deb July 22, 2009 at 10:22 am

I just state that so-and-so is no longer with the company. We wish her/him well. By the making the latter statement it shows professionalism no matter what the circumstances of their departure. I announce whether the position will be filled or not. Then it is important to re-allocate that person’s tasks to the appropriate parties until a replacement is hired, if so.


Carol July 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Noreen–Even though it seems inadequate, “…doesn’t work here any more” is probably the best thing to say. If you elaborate about why someone was fired, or even that the person was fired, you’re setting yourself up for a defamation suit. Regardless of what is said, people are going to speculate. Since that is the case, you may as well be as vague as you can.


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