If you have to let an employee go, make sure that you impart the lesson from that person's departure for the benefit of the people who remain on your team.
I have seen, and also been a part of, too many instances where employees are let go and the leader says very little, if anything, about it.
Firing is no fun and should always be a last resort. If you are going to fire someone, give that situation the attention that it deserves.
Meet with your team as soon as you can to discuss the move. Don't let rumors and gossip take over this situation and suck the power out of the move that you made. As a leader, you want to be the one that sets the tone and connects the dots. If you let the team do this, who know what people will hear.
When you do this meeting right you are trying to create impact in the following areas:
1. Mission, Vision and Values: When I have had to fire people, it's almost always a values issue. When you address the team about a fired employee, this is a great time to recast the vision of the business and to let people know that MVV is crucial to the success of the organization.
2. Accountability: When an employee gets fired, this is a time to let the team know that you have high standards for the business and you aren't going to hesitate to do what's right for the team as a whole.
3. It's About Who's Still There: The most important thing you want to convey is that a person's firing is an isolated incident. It doesn't mean that other people are getting fired or that you don't have confidence in the team that currently exists. When you don't address the team about a fired employee. It creates a lot of uncertainty and doubt for everyone else. That kills productivity.
Don't pretend that nothing happened when an employee is let go. Use this unfortunate situation as a chance to reset and regroup and get everyone moving together in the right direction.