How To Let Him Go Gracefully

Firing employees is not a simple matter. Every discharge can make your other team members angry, worried, or even show their solidarities by resigning from your company too (Yes, Indonesian people put high value in solidarities. They call it tepa selira or tenggang rasa.)

To ensure that the firing will not disturb your company’s equilibrium, you need to consider these:

  1. Make sure you fire him for valid reasons.

Don’t ever fire based on feelings, moods, or personal dislike. Do you know that one’s performance is determined 40% by the company’s system, 40% by the leadership, and only 20% by his own competencies? If s/he’s not performing well, it’s 80% your fault. Think about the effort you’ve made to develop this person. Has he got the support he needs to perform at his job?

  1. Give heads up to other team members

Direct communication is not Indonesian’s virtue. You have to show in subtle ways how bad he’s performing. For instance, you can make a weekly meeting, where everyone has to present his achievement in the last week. That way, everyone knows who is performing and who is not. And when the underperforming guy is being fired, nobody will doubt your decision.

  1. Explain honestly about why he’s being fired

The discharge should be a learning experience for other team members. By explaining honestly the reason behind it, you will help them to understand more clearly what behaviours are not tolerable in your startup. Just make sure you don’t attack him personally.

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