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You're Fired!......Termination Tips

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You're Fired!
Termination Tips
“I have a knife in my pocket and a gun in my shoe. […] If you weren’t who you are, I’d be using it right now.” This statement from a terminated employee to HR representative Carol Mackinlay underscores the reality of employee termination—you do not know how someone will react when being fired. Therefore, following best termination practices, like any other part of your company’s brand, is imperative to attracting and retaining top talent. Here are some of our top termination tips:
  1. Do not focus on the words
Getting caught up in which words you will use to fire someone is an easy way to make them think you are more concerned with finding the correct vocabulary than being kind, honest, and empathetic. Firing an employee can be awkward, so worry less about finding the perfect combination of words and redirect those efforts towards making the employee more comfortable.
  1. Ask the terminated employee
Deciding how to complete a terminated employee’s final days of employment can be difficult. Should you allow them to leave immediately or finish up their remaining work? Can they say goodbye to other employees, or should they exit as soon as possible? Everyone may have a different preference for how they exit their employment, and the easiest way to find the best fit for each employee is to ask.
  1. Do not disrespect employees
When terminating employees, whether in a mass layoff or a single employee termination, do not waste their time, surprise them, or be disrespectful. Avoid waiting until the end of their shift or the end of the day to terminate them. Rather than surprising an employee with termination, discuss their performance and give them warnings regarding the termination policy. Do not bring in security personnel unless the employee is being terminated for violence or similar.
  1. Show your appreciation
Even though you may be terminating someone’s employment, you should still show your appreciation for their hard work while employed at your company. You can take them to lunch or drinks, purchase a gift card, or even write them a simple note. Sending your employees off on the right foot, even if terminated, sends them a message of goodwill.
  1. Be organized
Remember, you possess the power and authority in termination meetings and reflect this with your actions. Keep the meeting short and to the point, stay calm and composed, and ensure that any necessary supervisory employees are in attendance. Document any issues leading to termination and be aware of any termination-related federal, state, or local laws.
  1. Help if you can
While not all companies support their terminated employees, offering them any help you can is a great way to encourage this professional relationship. Provide them with referrals to recruiters or business partners you think maybe a good fit. Help them access job search services or unemployment insurance. Most importantly, discuss their benefits coverage and make them aware of any continuation rights.
Did You Know?
Over the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans lost a total of 20.6 million jobs, 18 million of which are expected to be temporary after the end of the pandemic (CIDRAP). According to the American Psychological Association, unemployment has been linked to anxiety, depression, and loss of life satisfaction. Ask PuzzleHR how we can help you with your performance management practices to make any terminations as positive as possible for you and your employees!

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