Firing: When and where?

Firing employees is part of your job. And it’s never easy. But you can make it more bearable by choosing where and when to do the job.

First, find a neutral place to tell the employee. It’s best to handle the matter away from anyone’s private territory. That way it’s less likely that you will be interrupted by other employees or phone calls.

If a neutral place is not available, conduct the discussion in the employee’s office, not yours. This will enable you to end the meeting and leave when you have said all that needs to be said.

The best time? Friday afternoon firings seem to have become a tradition. Surveys have showed that around one-third of managers and HR pros prefer delivering the news early afternoon on a Friday.

This gives the employee an hour or two clean out his office. He doesn’t have to face his co-workers for very long, and he doesn’t have much time to stir up bad feelings among them. It also gives the employee the weekend to gather his thoughts about his future.

On the other hand, there may be a better time for you and the employee—for example, at the end of a project or at the end of a pay period.

But have a heart: Try to avoid firing just before a major holiday.