Firing a narcissist is a pivotal but potential dangerous process for any business. Having seen how much damage a narcissist can do on the way out of a position, I’ve acculturated all the information available on firing a narcissist in to this article.
Bosses firing narcissists should develop appropriate documentation to protect their business and reputation from narcissistic blowups. Avoid criticizing the narcissist’s work, and frame the firing as a lay off if at all possible. Then, take steps to repair company culture.
Narcissist can be complex and difficult to let go appropriately. They are masters of manipulating group perception, and can use that skill to severely damage bosses and companies who don’t handle their termination with sufficient care.
Take Steps to Protect Your Self & Business from Narcissist You Intend to Fire
Before the narcissist’s final day, it is extremely important that you gather as much documentation and evidence as possible that shows the company behaved in an ethical and lawful manner during the duration of the narcissist’s employment.
First, to be sure that your employee is actually a narcissist, rather than having some other disorder. This article will help you determine if you actually have a narcissist on your hands —
Narcissistic Employees Are Likely to Make Accusations
While there is a lot of potential ground to cover, narcissists will frequently attempt to damage their previous employer with baseless allegations. Common claims to narcissist will make against their previous company or employer include —
- Wrongful termination
- Unlawful discrimination
- Targeting them because they are too successful
- Engaging illegal or unethical business practices
- Sexual harassment
While there may be no legal basis for these claims, it is often the goal of the narcissist to damage your reputation.
Be ready to pull out anything that you have to disprove such accusations on a moment’s notice one the employee is fired. This might include —
- HR records and performance reports
- Testimony of coworkers and supervisors
- Time clock records
- Computer data, emails, text messages no company phones
- Video surveillance on company property
If you need to call technical people to help acquire and compile this data, make sure to do it in advance of the day of termination. But, be careful to keep everything transparent so as not to tip off the narcissist in advance.
Narcissistic Employees May Try to Slander You With Clients
If your business relies on relationships with a small number of important clients, then one common retaliatory tactic used by narcissistic ex-employees is to reach out and bad mouth the company in an attempt to reduce their business.
In the weeks leading up to firing a narcissistic employee reduce or remove any direct contact with clients. If you can reduce their access to client data, so much the better.
Framing the Termination as a Layoff Can Soften the Blow to Narcissist Employees
The defining characteristic of narcissists is that they are unable to cope with accept direct criticism or any form of public disappointment. Being fired can be difficult for even a well adjusted employee, but to a narcissist it can be psychologically damaging.
The best tactic to take when firing an employee is to avoid placing blame on the employee directly.
Choosing the appropriate and lawful tactic depends on the specific situation. Some possibilities for useful framing include —
- As a layoff
- That the employee is too qualified for the position
- Giving no justification at all
Handling the Firing a Narcissist on the Day You Let Them Go
The logistics of how you fire a narcissist is paramount to successfully getting rid of a problem employee.
Firstly, schedule the firing so that it is a private as possible. Situations where the narcissist is forced to make a public walk of shame or pack up their belongings in a crowded work space are likely to exacerbate their psychological need to retaliate and fabricate a false justification of their firing that places the company or coworkers at fault.
Secondly, make the process as quick and sudden as possible. Giving the narcissist warning signs means they have more time to accumulate damaging company information or spread rumors to support their later attacks. At the same time that you notify the narcissistic employee of their termination, their access to company databases, email, etc should be suspended.
The employee should sent immediately off the premises while in the sight of a responsible prison. However, it should not be obvious, if possible, that the individual is being escorted. The perception that they were forcibly ejected from the building will again provoke a reaction from a narcissist.
Lastly, ensure you have a responsible party as witness or a recording of the meeting in which you fire the narcissist. If all else fails, the narcissistic ex-employee may make up accusations about the means and reasons for why they were fired. Having a backup in case this happens is necessary and prudent.
Reactions You Are Likely to See from a Laid Off Narcissist
What can you expect after you fire a narcissistic employee? Sometimes they leave and you never hear from them again. Other times, they begin aggressively attacking the company from the moment the hear the news.
While I have mentioned a few of these previously in this article, here are some of the things that narcissist will try to do after they are fired —
- Manipulate our existing employees into quitting
- Filing false lawsuits against us
- Attempting to ruin the business
- Reaching out to clients to impugn the businesses reputation
- Attempt to promote or assist your competitors
- Stalking bosses, supervisors, or other employees
If a narcissist displays a tendency toward any of these methods of manipulation, you may need to notify your employees that they can expect to be approached or attack by the narcissist.
Making sure your employees hear your version of the story — the true version — can help mitigate the misinformation that a narcissist will try to spread with the company.
Seven Reasons You Need to Fire You Narcissistic Employee
Narcissists are very good at self-promotion, and try to position themselves as invaluable to the company. This makes them more difficult to let go, and may garner intense support from other managers, supervisors, and executives.
However, this perception is often deceptive, and in fact the narcissist is likely hampering the company more than helping. Here are good reasons to fire a narcissist —
- Narcissists act as if they are extroverted and agreeable, but are unlikely to be open to new experiences and emotionally stable
- Narcissists can discourage teamwork by being abrasive and dismissive of coworkers
- Narcissists breed competitiveness and distrust among employees as they attempt to amplify their self-importance
- Narcissists provide unrealistically positive self ratings and extremely low ratings of other employees and subordinates
- Narcissists will disparage other employees rather than admit fault for a low performance
- Narcissists that receives a unfavorable evaluations may disparage the evaluator and possibly become aggressive
- Narcissist or overconfident in their abilities, and can cost companies dearly when the mishandle critical situations and tasks they lack the skills to complete properly
How do you deal with a narcissistic employee?
Avoid criticizing or publicly shaming a narcissistic employee. Corrective actions including reprimand or firing should be undertaken with extreme care. Always document as much as you can, and be ready for retaliatory behavior on the part of the narcissistic employee.
How do you outsmart a narcissist at work?
Outsmart a narcissist by using their psychological weaknesses against them. Withhold approval and public acclaim when they are acting poorly, and reinforce positive behavior with excessive praise. Take care not to publicly outshine a narcissist and avoid putting them in position where they must admit to failure.