There comes a time, for almost every agency owner, when you have to let somebody go. Sometimes it’s because of external factors, a client cancelled and you don’t have enough cash. You can be empathetic, kind, and remorseful in those situations.
If you’re firing somebody for cause or they’re not fitting in, you need to think about this from a respect point of view. You might feel as if the employee has disrespected your company, but what you really need to do is think about them as a person. You need to respect that they are human. Treat them with the respect that you would like to get.
If you have to let them go, explain why, but don’t criticize. Offer help. Ask them what you can do to make this easier. You’re taking somebody out of your organization because they don’t fit. That doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. It just means that they don’t fit where you had them. That’s arguably as much your fault as theirs, so you need to be kind and respectful. Offer as much help as you can, and be as financially generous as possible. Quite honestly, you’ve just messed up their cash flow for goodness knows how long, and that is a huge stressor for a lot of people. They’re people first. They’re employees who did not fit in your organization second.