The Right Way to Terminate an Employee

Featured The Right Way to Terminate an Employee

Terminating an employee can be one of the most difficult jobs an employer can face. Every employer is likely to face the challenge of firing employees, and often the process can be fraught with emotion and backlash. As a result, it is important to ensure a strong procedure is in place for handling the situation. When handled properly, it can ensure a smooth transition that is as painless as possible for both the employer and employee alike.

Ensure Your Decision Is Not Based on Emotions

In order to prevent legal backlash or other issues, it is important to ensure the reasons for any termination are based on provable performance issues, not emotions. It is easy to make poor decisions in a heated moment, but it is important never to make an adverse employment decision such as termination at such a time.

Document Everything 

All performance issues leading up to termination must be documented. 

This provides a clear track record of any issues and provides a strong defense against any claims of wrongdoing the employee may choose to take. [Read More]

This includes documenting the final exit meeting. It is also crucial when documenting the termination to include the reasons that they are being terminated, which could be performance issues as well as specific events. Include as much factual information as possible.

Clearly Explain the Reason

When informing the employee that they are being terminated, remain clear but concise. There is no reason to drag things out, and it helps to be prepared ahead of time. Knowing exactly what you will be saying helps to keep things short and lets the individual stop focusing on the job they have lost.

Remain, Professional, 

It is essential to remain calm and professional at all times during the exit meeting. If things become heated, then take a break and let things cool down. Also, it is a good idea to have a third person present to act as a witness to the meeting should it be needed by either party.

Express Thanks For Their Work

Before the employee leaves, it is important to express gratitude for all their work. This should include a termination letter that explains the entire situation and thanks to them for everything they have done to contribute. Showing respect will help to keep everything as calm and professional as possible and help to prevent unnecessary litigation down the line.

Communicate With Other Employees

Following the termination of a worker, it is important to communicate with the remaining employees. This will cut off any rumors and help to reassure other workers that they are not soon to be fired as well. It will also show employees that the company does care about them and minimize any negative effects on morale.

Make sure your company policies are compliant with State law by reading up on fair chance hiring practices. Learn more by downloading our free resource on Adverse Action Notice Protocols in Compliance With FCRA.