Hey all. Need some help on advice a friend asked of me. Do you fire a friend any differently than a regular employee?

About a year ago a friend of mine took a new job. She then recruited a former direct of hers to come to the new company and work for her again. Long story short, it's not working out. My friend's employee isn't happy, neither is my friend or her boss (the CEO).

It's a very small company (15 employees, tech start up, just got some funding and VERY fast paced).

My friend is torn up, because she feels like she is going to lose a friend. I have tried to mentor her towards the fact that she's her employee first, friend second, but obviously it's very hard.

I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

pucciot's picture

I would advise that the Manager spends some time at the annual appraisal and the One on Ones going over the employee's performance.




Have a candid (not brutal honesty) conversation about performance. 

You have to do your job

I have to do my job.

The Book

Crucial Conversations

might help.

If the employee keeps expressing dissatisfaction with the role I would say the next step would be to suggest they find a job elsewhere, where they will be happier, and perform effectively. And offer to help with the job search.

The manager could (and probably should) say that as a manger they are obligated to Perform the duties of a manager, just as the employee is obligated to do their duty.



As friends we should want to support each other in doing our duties and acting ethically.

So -  yeah - before any of this gets any more out of hand, let's find a way that we can both support each other in doing what we both need to do.  That is what friends do.


If they ask "Are you firing me ?"

The answer is

"If I was firing you, i would make it clear. You would never have to ask that question."

"I am evaluating your performance in Results and Relationships,  I am asking you to either improve results and relationships, or I will be happy to help you find a new position that you can be effective and happy in.   If you are not doing well here --- If you are not happy here - Then neither of us is happy.  Why would any friend want that for each other ?  Let's do what we both must do to support each other's success. "


Good Luck