Consider These Steps when Terminating an Employee

Terminating an employee is never easy. It is a difficult situation for both the employee and the employer. There’s some criteria to consider when terminating an employee. Yet, despite the grounds, legalities, etc., there are certain criteria to consider that can make the process less strenuous for both parties.

1. Get to the Point

Terminating an employee is always disheartening. It’s best to arrange a meeting with the employee as quickly as possible and inform them right away. Employees easily detect bad news and it’s best to be clear and direct as possible. In fact, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, by announcing the termination immediately, the employer will get the individual’s attention about what’s coming next. Additionally, it’s suggested to inform the employee directly, then state the reasons(s) clearly so they understand it’s a firm decision that has been determined prior to the meeting.

2. Listen to the Employee

As it’s not difficult to predict the reaction of an employee getting terminated, The Harvard Business Review also suggests that by taking time, seeing their reaction, and listening to what they have to say makes it much easier to clarify the reasons of their dismissal. Plus, rushing through the meeting may seem insensitive, callous and may create unnecessary irritated emotions.

3. Be Organized to Avoid Future Repercussions

Always have the proper documents completed, including a written notice of termination (or similar documents) and details on severance (if applicable). Geneviève Desmarais, the Assistant Vice-President of Legal Affairs for The Business Development Bank of Canada suggests that when an employee disputes their termination, it’s due to the lack of back-up documentation to support it. It then “becomes a question of ‘he said, she said’ and the burden lies on the employer to demonstrate the termination was made for a just and sufficient cause, and was properly conducted.”

Some employees may be surprised by being let go, while others may have predicted their termination by realizing their lack of performance or behavior. Regardless, showing courtesy, respect and overall professionalism can help make the process less strenuous and smoother for both the employee and employer.

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