Getting fired sucks.
Firing someone sucks too, though not as much.
But it needs to be done sometimes.
Nonprofit With Balls examines the problem of firing at Why we hold on to bad employees, and why we need to fire people faster:
While most people in our field are awesome, there are some people who make others’ lives miserable. You know who they/you are. From chronically failing to follow-through, to not accepting responsibility for mistakes, to manipulating people, to bullying clients and coworkers, to generally being the reason others pray on a daily basis for the zombie apocalypse. Many offices have them, both for-profits and non-profits. But we nonprofits seem to be more reluctant to fire people.
I recommend this post, which looks at not only why we don't fire when we should, but also how to do it right.
Having seen a lot of firings -- and not-soon-enough firings -- I have one observation that should give everyone on both sides of the equation hope: Amazingly often, firing someone is the best thing you can do for them.
I can't count how many times I've encountered a fired former coworker who looks dramatically happier, healthier, and more full of life than they did before they were fired. Struggling at a job you can't do well is not good for you!
You aren't doing someone a favor who's in the wrong job by keeping them there. Letting them go frees them (in a painful way) to move on. Most end up better off. Really.
That doesn't make it feel any better for the firer or the firee. But it's a comfort -- and a big service to everyone.