7 Tips on How to Write a Firing Email with Professionalism

Are you struggling with how to write a firing email that doesn’t come across as harsh or unprofessional? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Ending someone’s employment is a difficult task, and finding the right words to express the decision can be even harder. But there’s good news – there are ways to write a firing email that is respectful and empathetic while still getting the message across. With a little guidance and some examples to work with, you can write a firing email that will serve its purpose while minimizing the impact on the person you’re letting go. So, let’s dive in and learn how to write a firing email that strikes the right balance and delivers the message effectively. And don’t forget, you can find sample emails to help you get started and tailor them to your specific situation.

The Best Structure for Writing a Firing Email

Firing an employee is never an easy task, and delivering the news through email can make it even more challenging. That’s why focusing on the structure and content of your firing email is essential. Tim Ferriss, the best-selling author of “The 4-Hour Workweek,” is known for his concise and effective writing style. Here’s a guide on how to structure your firing email, using Tim Ferris’ writing style as an example.

1. Start with a clear subject line

The subject line should be straightforward and professional. Use “Termination of Employment” or “Notice of Termination” as your subject line. This will grab the employee’s attention immediately and let them know what the email is about. Keep in mind that the subject line will be the first thing your employee sees, so make sure it’s clear and concise.

2. Begin with a polite and neutral opening

Start the email with a polite and professional greeting, such as “Dear [Employee’s Name],” or “Hello [Employee’s Name].”. This will set the tone for the rest of the email and help the employee understand that you’re taking this seriously. Make sure to begin with a neutral opening that does not hint at the content of the email yet.

3. Get straight to the point

After your greeting, get straight to the point of the email. Use clear and concise language to inform the employee that their employment with the company is being terminated. Let them know the reason why they are being fired, but keep it brief and professional. Avoid using emotive, accusatory language even if you’re frustrated, as it can discourage an amicable end to the relationship.

4. Provide relevant details

Provide an explanation about any relevant details, such as their final paycheck, benefits, or any other logistics. You should also inform the employee about the timeline for when they will receive these details. If applicable, remind the employee about any post-employment obligations they may have, such as a non-compete agreement or return of company property.

5. Offer a resource for support

While this can be a challenging and emotional experience for the employee, be sure to offer a resource for support such as an HR Manager or someone external to the company who can offer professional assistance for dealing with this tough transition.

6. Be empathetic and Maintain a Professional Tone

Remember that the email will be read by a human being, so make sure to convey empathy while maintaining a professional tone. You can address the challenging nature of the email and express regret for the challenging situation but avoid providing more context that could add fuel to an already emotional experience. This type of email is not the place for esoteric philosophy or details that add no value to the content. It should be to the point and well-structured.

By following these guidelines and Tim Ferriss’ style of effective communication, you can write a firing email that is both professional and compassionate, leaving no room for miscommunication. Good writing is never about the style alone but the clarity of communication and empathy.

7 Different Firing Email Templates

Template #1: Firing due to Poor Performance

Dear [Employee’s Name],

It is with regret that we must inform you that your employment with our company is being terminated, effective immediately. This decision has been made as a result of your consistently poor performance in meeting our expectations.

Despite several verbal and written warnings, feedback, and guidance that were given over the past months to help you improve your performance, no significant progress was observed. As a result, we no longer can continue to employ you at this company.

We would like to thank you for your contribution to the company and wish you success in your future endeavors.


[Your Name]

Template #2: Firing due to Attitude or Behavioural Issues

Dear [Employee’s Name],

As a result of careful consideration and monitoring of your behaviour and attitude, we regret to inform you that your employment with our company is terminated, effective immediately. Your behaviour has been consistently inappropriate, and your attitude has been detrimental to other employees and ultimately, the business.

Despite our repeated attempts to engage with you and address your concerns, we have not observed any meaningful improvement. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour and we cannot permit it to continue.

Thank you for your service to our company. We wish you success in your future endeavors.


[Your Name]

Template #3: Firing due to Violating Company Policies

Dear [Employee’s Name],

It is with great regret that we must inform you of your immediate termination, effective immediately. The decision to terminate your employment was reached due to a violation of the company’s policy.

We have carried out a thorough investigation and found sufficient evidence to demonstrate that you have breached the policies of the company. As a company, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards such actions, and we cannot permit such behavior to go unpunished.

We are grateful for the work you have completed for our company, and we regret that this matter has come to this unfortunate conclusion.


[Your Name]

Template #4: Firing due to Redundancy

Dear [Employee’s Name],

It is with regret that we must inform you of the termination of your employment, effective immediately. This decision was reached due to the unfortunate circumstances that required the company to reduce the workforce as part of our restructuring process, and your role was identified as being redundant.

We appreciate the work you have done for the company during your tenure, and we understand the challenges this can bring to displaced employees. We will be providing a severance package that includes redundancy pay and outplacement support.

We extend our sincerest wishes to you for success in your future endeavors.


[Your Name]

Template #5: Firing due to Poor Attendance Record

Dear [Employee’s Name],

It is with regret that we must inform you that your employment with our company is being terminated with immediate effect due to your unsatisfactory attendance record at work.

You have been absent from work on numerous occasions, citing reasons that have not been properly addressed to the satisfaction of the company. As such, we have no option but to conclude that you are unable to fulfill the requirements and expectations of your role as an employee in our company.

We would like to express our appreciation for the time that you have spent with us and wish you all the best for your future endeavors.


[Your Name]

Template #6: Firing due to Reorganization

Dear [Employee’s Name],

It is with regret that we must inform you that your employment with our company is being terminated. This decision was made following a recent reorganization, which has led to changes in our business structure.

Unfortunately, due to the changes, your position has been identified as redundant, and we have no option but to terminate your employment with our company with immediate effect. We will be providing a severance package that includes redundancy pay and outplacement support.

Thank you for your contribution during your employment. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


[Your Name]

Template #7: Firing due to Medical or Health-related Issues

Dear [Employee’s Name],

It is with regret that we must inform you that your employment with our company is being terminated due to medical and health-related issues that have affected your ability to perform the duties of your job satisfactorily.

We have sought to make reasonable adjustments in your role to accommodate your medical condition, but it has become clear that these adjustments are not possible to be facilitated in your current role.

We thank you for your work with our company and wish you all the best for the future.


[Your Name]

How to Write a Firing Email: Tips and Advice

Firing someone is never easy, but it’s a necessary part of business sometimes. When it comes to terminating an employee, sending an email is a common and convenient way to do it. But how do you write a firing email that is professional, clear, and respectful? Here are some tips and recommendations to help you craft an effective and empathetic message.

First of all, be direct and straightforward in your email. Don’t beat around the bush or sugarcoat the news. You don’t need to go into details about why or how this decision was made, but you should clearly state that the person is being let go, when the last day of employment will be, and what next steps they need to take (such as returning company property, collecting their final paycheck, or arranging for unemployment benefits). Make sure that your message is brief, concise, and well-organized, with headings, bullet points, or numbered lists if necessary.

Secondly, be respectful and compassionate in your tone and wording. This might sound obvious, but it’s important to remember that firing someone can be a life-changing event for them, and they may experience a range of emotions such as shock, disbelief, anger, sadness, or relief. You don’t need to be overly emotional or apologetic, but you should acknowledge their contributions to the company, express gratitude for their service, and wish them well in their future endeavors. Avoid using accusatory or judgmental language, and don’t blame or criticize them for their performance, behavior, or attitude. Keep in mind that the way you treat people on the way out can impact your reputation and relationships with others, so be the kind of boss that you would want to work for.

Thirdly, be aware of legal or ethical considerations that may apply to your situation. Depending on your company’s policies, the employee’s contract, or the local laws, you may need to provide written documentation, offer severance pay, or follow certain procedures for termination. You also need to be mindful of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation issues that may arise, and avoid any actions that could be construed as unfair or discriminatory (such as firing someone because of their age, race, gender, religion, or disability). Seek advice from HR, legal counsel, or other experts if you’re uncertain about your responsibilities or rights.

In conclusion, writing a firing email is not an enjoyable task, but it can be done with empathy, professionalism, and clarity. By following these tips and advice, you can minimize the negative impact of the news on the employee, and maintain your reputation as a fair and caring employer. Remember, firing is not the end of the world, and it can be an opportunity for personal growth and career development.

FAQs on Writing a Firing Email

What should be the tone of a firing email?

The tone of a firing email should be firm but respectful. It is important to be clear and concise in the message without resorting to personal attacks or criticism. Use a professional and neutral tone throughout the email.

What should be included in a firing email?

A firing email should include the reason for termination, the effective date, any severance or end-of-service benefits, and information about the next steps in the process. It should also offer support or resources, like outplacement services, if possible.

What mistakes should be avoided while writing a firing email?

It is important to avoid using inflammatory language, blaming the employee, or providing too much detail about the reason for termination. Avoid phrases like “it’s not personal” and “it’s just business” that may come across as insensitive.

How do you begin a firing email?

Start the email with a clear and direct statement that the employee is being terminated. This should be followed by the reason for termination and any additional details that are relevant to the situation. Finally, include any necessary information about next steps and available resources.

Should a firing email be sent to the entire team?

No, a firing email should only be sent to the employee who is being terminated. It is not appropriate to share sensitive information with others who are not involved in the situation.

Is it necessary to provide a warning or notice before sending a firing email?

It is generally a good practice to provide a warning or notice to the employee before sending a firing email. This may be in the form of a verbal conversation or written warning. However, in certain situations such as serious misconduct, immediate termination without warning may be necessary.

What if the employee has already left the company? Should a firing email still be sent?

If an employee has already left the company voluntarily, there is no need to send a firing email. However, if the employee was terminated for cause, it may be appropriate to provide them with written notice to support the company’s position and ensure legal compliance.

Wrapping It Up

And that’s all there is to it, folks! Writing a firing email may seem daunting, but with these tips and templates, it should be a breeze. Just remember to be clear, concise, and professional. Thank you for reading, and I hope you found this article helpful. Don’t forget to check back in for more helpful tips and tricks. Until next time!