It's a hard question, and as the person being fired, does any method really make it better?
I guess I think honesty is the best policy. Especially if you've given them warnings for something before, and they haven't changed it. It seems harsh, and probably is harsh, but at least this way they will hopefully learn from the experience and not make the same mistakes at their next job. Otherwise they might end up getting fired for tardiness twice, without anyone actually telling them that that is why...
Do it in Private, and be as kind and polite as possible.
Say...your cutting back on staff (which you are).I wouldn't say too much bad about that person, to them as in performance ect.
Just be nice, and maybe of you can give a bonus, so it ends on good terms.
Might seem a little odd to do that, but it could help them till they find another job.
You could also tell them your sorry they have to go...(as you would be because you have to fire them...so that would bring you no joy anyway).
So your not lying....Just be as nice as you can.
It depends why you are firing them. Is it because of their work performance, cut backs, or something else? If it is because of cutbacks then at least you can reassure them that they are good workers, and maybe offer to write them up a good reference and recommend them to other employers. If it is because of poor performance, it is more tricky. How do you say nicely 'your work's not good enough'?
It all depends on the circumstance for which they are being fired.
Generally though I would call the employee into your office, praise them the work they have done, outline the challenges that have been presented as result of their performance or the companies situation, present them with a letter of dismal.
Present them with options that would fit their qualification, smile and wish them all the best.
If the reason for dismal include unethical activities then just cut to the chase and present the letter of dismissal.
There is NO nice way to do this -it is a horrible thing to do and it was one part of my business that I really hated doing.
I do not think there is a nice way to do it apart from being polite and explaining the reason however if the reason is because the employee is not doing the job, then it is an awful thing to have to do.
You rarely end up on good terms after doing this as of course there is ill feeling that you can take someone's living away from them.
A tough job which ever way it's done, but by sitting the person down and having a private talk with them would be a civil way of doing it. None of this texting - as some companies have done, that is so disrespectful to the employee/s