Have you ever had to fire an employee? They may be just not pulling their weight or they may have had their hand in the till. If you are like most managers, telling a staff member that they are no longer needed is a sure fire way to get stress levels up to the maximum.

Here are my seven top tips for minimizing your stress when firing an employee. Following these steps will also minimize the risk to you and your company that the employee will lodge a law suit against you.

1. Give the employee plenty of advanced warning that you are not satisfied with their performance or behavior.

2. Hold the discussions with the staff member in private, preferably in a neutral area and well out of earshot of others.

3. Let the person know in advance the time and purpose of the meeting.

4. Set objectively verifiable behavior or performance goals and then back up your progress reports with actual, recorded observations.

5. Focus the discussion on observable behaviors, without ascribing an aberrant personality or bad motives to the staff member.

6. After giving your feedback, acknowledge and respect how the employee feels.

7. Let the employee know your company’s escalation process and stick to it.

By following the above tips on firing an employee, you will not only save yourself a lot of tension and worry, you will also be doing your best to keep the employee working for your company. And if all of your efforts fail, you will be able to hold your head up high, knowing that you gave the employee every opportunity to succeed.