what to say when people ask why an employee was fired

A reader writes:

I just fired someone. It was necessary, and I’ve got no regrets. But while this person was terrible in many ways, they did have a great relationship with some staff members they worked with. And those staff are asking us (no doubt influenced by personal contact from the fired employee) why we did it so “suddenly” (it wasn’t sudden), and how we could deprive them of someone so wonderful. Of course, our official stance is to say, “this is an HR matter.”

But wow, does that response not fly and people are pushing to know more. When, if ever, is it acceptable to give more information internally?

I answer this question — and four others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

Other questions I’m answering there today include:

Sweat stains and business clothing Resigning employee wants to buy a plane ticket from us Telling a job applicant that I don’t want a LinkedIn resume Giving a reference for someone who won’t talk to me You may also like:the way a coworker was fired has me worried for my own jobhow do we handle firing an employee in an open plan office?why won’t my employer tell us why our coworker was fired?

what to say when people ask why an employee was fired was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Read more: askamanager.org

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