How to Fire a Team Member

  • 5 on-demand lessons
  • Reflection exercises
  • Insights from other leaders globally
  • A cheat sheet summarizing best practices

Sign up and get 1 lesson for free.

  1. How Do I Know? Free

    7 mins
    You haven’t failed. This is just hard.  When do you really know that it’s the right time to let someone go? It’s easier when it’s obvious (they’ve broken policy, excessive abse...
  2. The Set-Up

    5 mins
    Privacy is paramount.  The space (in person or remote) should be set up to respect the person’s identity.  If in person, have it in a room near an exit.  If remote, make sure th...
  3. The Delivery

    5 mins
    Don’t make small talk. Your opening sentence should be delivered in 5 seconds (or less). Say this: “[insert name], we are letting you go effective immediately. ”Don’t say this:...
  4. The One Thing Not to Do

    4 mins
    Yes, it’s hard for you… but it’s harder for them. Don’t say:  “This was a difficult decision for me. ”“I really don’t want to do this. ”“This wasn’t my decision. ”It doesn’t he...
  5. Communicate with your Team

    7 mins
    If it makes sense: Ask how the person prefers to break the news to the team. They tell the team or you tell the team.  Written or verbal.  Now or in a few days.  Make sure to h...
This page is protected by Google reCAPTCHA. Learn more.
The information collected by Google reCAPTCHA is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, and is used for providing, maintaining, and improving the reCAPTCHA service and for general security purposes (it is not used for personalized advertising by Google).

About your trainers…

Claire Lew
CEO at Canopy

Claire’s mission in life is to help people become happier at work. She’s been published in Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Inc, CNBC, and Fortune, among others. She speaks internationally on how to create more open honest work environments.

Jenny Nichols
Leadership Trainer and Coach at Canopy

Jenny has a clear vision for the future: No more bad bosses. She has 10+ years in leadership development, and is pursuing her Ph.D. so she can better align data and research to leadership practices. She works with leaders to help them thrive.

Trusted by 30,000+ managers…

Explore more lessons…

Primer for New Managers
4 lessons
Building Trust in a Team
4 lessons
How to Coach Your Employees
4 lessons
How to Improve Team Morale
5 lessons

See our full curriculum →