When I fire someone because of a behavioral problem he has, it's ethical not to talk about the problem in his behavior with other teammates, so that his reputation isn't corrupted in their eyes. But, if I don't explain why I had to do it, 2 problems arise:
- Teammates may feel that I'm an irrational person who fires people for random reasons, or rumors may spread about why I did it.
- If I don't tell them why I did it, they may not believe that that kind of behavior is intolerable in here, and they may be tempted to do it too, forcing me to fire other people too; whereas if I had told them what was the reason of this firing, it will create a deterrence strong enough to make it stop occurring again.
I know that there are several other methods to make people believe if they break rules there will be consequences, but I don't think there's any method more powerful than saying: "see, he did it, so he was punished".
And please assume that in this case, there's no way to tell other ones what happened without damaging reputation of that person. If I disclose the reason behind termination, everybody agrees with me that it was right, but this behavior in particular wasn't in front of other ones eyes, so they didn't notice it.
What I'm most afraid is that they may think that termination had some other reasons, jumping to conclusion: "He got fired because of that totally rational behavior, so managers are crazy and they may fire me too for some other stupid reason". It's clear without saying how this damages the morale.
What should I do in this dilemma? Am I allowed to ruin his reputation in this team, or should I just pray that this behavior isn't repeated again? I know it's disrespectful to talk behind back of other people, hence the dilemma.