Our syllabus on firing covers how to manage underperformance, how to make job expectations and goals clear, how to put someone on a performance improvement plan, and how to let someone go in the most respectful way possible.
Firing is part of our Engineering Career Leveling Framework. Explore next steps in your career from this industry-standard model.
Managing UnderperformanceManaging underperformance is a crucial aspect of employee management, as it can be a precursor to firing. Effective strategies include setting clear expectations, providing feedback and training, and offering support and resources to help employees improve.
- The Best Approach to the Worst Conversation: "You're Fired"Michael explains how managers need to take responsibility for employee performance and tackle it head-on, including when performance improvement plans (PIPs) and/or firing is needed.
- GitLab's Process for Underperformance and Performance Improvement PlansGitLab's process guide explains who to discuss underperformance with, how to coach, and how to execute a performance improvement plan, including tying the PIP to Company Values.
When and Why to FireKnowing when and why to fire an employee can be challenging, but it is essential for maintaining a productive and positive work environment. Reasons for termination may include poor performance, misconduct, or a lack of cultural fit. It is important to consider legal and ethical implications and to communicate clearly with the employee.
- It’s Never Too Early to FireLars provides advice on how to listen to your gut that someone needs to go, and also provides explicit things to watch out for: broken trust; Avoidance, false bravado, and political posturing; and lack of investment or enthusiasm in their projects.
How to FireFiring an employee is never easy, but there are ways to do it that are respectful and professional. Key steps include preparing for the conversation, delivering the news in person and with Empathy, providing clear reasons and next steps, and following up with the employee and remaining team members. It is also important to handle the logistics, such as collecting company property and updating records.
- Firing WellWhen an employee needs to be fired, John recommends giving them time to find a new job (which requires trusting them), and to be honest with them about why things didn't work out, noting what they did well, and be clear with communication to people they work with so that no one is left guessing.
- GitLab's Voluntary and Involuntary Termination ProcessesThis is an extremely detailed firing procedure, including how to create a private slack channel with HR, coordinate the termination date, figure out if a separation and release of claims agreement is necessary, etc.