Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Have you ever personally had to fire someone or lay someone off?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 160,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Have you ever personally had to fire someone or lay someone off?

  • Yes. I’ve done it many times: 49%
  • Yes. I’ve done it at least once: 39%
  • No. I’ve never been in that position: 10%
  • No, but I should have done so once and regret not doing it: 1%

As much as we’d like to believe we won’t be in a position to fire someone, the majority of you have already faced that difficult conversation (and most of you have done so on numerous occasions).

For those who haven’t had to go through that yet, be sure to reach out to those experienced leaders around you before you go into the termination conversation. Their words of wisdom can help that unattractive event be a little less unpleasant for everyone involved. The last thing you want is a disgruntled employee who goes out and trashes your company on the ubiquitous
social platforms that new hire candidates review before accepting a job with your company.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders and author of “One Piece of Paper.”