One of Human Resources (HR) main goals is to supply the company with highly qualified employees that will do their job effectively and with integrity. Sometimes, a poor hiring selection is made and someone needs to be let go. The way in which HR handles a termination can be just as important as the hiring process. There are measures to take to ensure a proper termination goes smoothly.
Make a Plan
It can be tempting to make a spontaneous firing during a tense situation; however, you should always avoid firing on the spot. On the spot firing results in a greater chance of being sued. If someone is being intolerable, suspend them and give yourself time to consider a firing. A proper termination should be planned out beforehand. This will also allow you time to gather your thoughts and to put together a thorough strategy for the firing.
Make sure you have all the information you need ready and available. If there is any question that needs an answer regarding the behavior or performance of the employee, there should be easily accessible proof so you do not appear to be caught off guard or scrambling. This is both professional and protection from a lawsuit. You do not need to rehash their entire employment; however, you should have specific circumstances at the ready to defend your reason for termination.
Practice Your Speech
Review and practice your speech before giving it during the termination meeting. Make sure it flows smoothly and gets right to the point. Stammering or forgetting words can make you seem uncertain. Stand your ground, and make sure your speech is solid and clear that they are no longer an employee with your organization.
Check Emotions at the Door
Keep emotion out of the decision. If you have a personal relationship of any kind with the person you are firing, it may be wise to find someone without any kind of emotional connection to manage the firing process. And whether you like or dislike the person professionally should also not influence your decision or the way you conduct yourself during the meeting.
Monday Not Friday
If time is not a factor, it is more beneficial to all parties to fire on a Monday rather than a Friday. With this approach, your other employees can immediately return to work and begin to adjust without the terminated team member. It also allows for the person being fired to start looking for a job right away.
Keep it Short
A long termination meeting is not ideal. The circumstance is likely to be tense or emotional for the person being fired. It is recommended for these meetings to last around 10 minutes. This is sufficient time for the person to respond in an appropriate manner but not so long that it begins to feel dragged out. A longer meeting can also lead to a more heated exit and harsh words.
Give a Reason
It is essential to provide a reason for the termination. Whether the firing is taking place because of layoffs, poor performance or inappropriate behavior, the reason for the firing should be stated clearly at the beginning of the conversation. If there is more than one reason, give a clear list of reasons.
It is unfortunate for all parties involved when an employment termination has to take place. If you have a plan, prepare, remove emotion and keep the meeting short, it will be a much smoother transition and experience for everyone.
Hi, I’m Austin Winder, a Public Relations Specialist and contributing author for Banalaw. I live in Memphis, TN and graduated with a business and marketing degree from the University of Memphis.