Asking an employee to leave is not easy, neither for the employee himself nor the HR staff. If you ask any HR professional about the best and the worst aspects of their job, the answers would most probably be welcoming an employee to the organization and releasing an employee from the organization respectively. Most employers stay away from terminating an employee because they thoroughly dislike uttering the words – you are fired. The situation is really tough for them to handle. However, if an underperforming employee is not released, a wrong signal would go out to the hard-working employees who give their all to the organization. They will feel demotivated. Is there any professional way to terminate an employee so that no one feels bad? Find out.
Terminations Shouldn’t Surprise Them
Termination shouldn’t come as a surprise for an employee. They should be intimated well before that they will have to face the consequences if they don’t perform up to the mark. Remind them that they have had an opportunity to set things straight. Make them realize that their dismissal is a result of some disciplinary actions. Either they have not been at par with the industrious employees or they have failed to comply with a company policy, leaving no other option for HR but to dismiss them in due course of time.
Plan in Advance
Before you call an employee to a termination meeting, you should prepare yourself and be confident to manage the uncomfortable situation properly. If you are sure that an employee deserves to get terminated, stick to it and don’t negotiate later on. The purpose of this meeting is to have a clear discussion with the employee on the information they need and give back any company property they have been using. The duration of such meetings doesn’t usually exceed 20 minutes. Your priority should be to not drag the discussion and wrap up everything within time. The employee might look for sympathy from friends and family, but that’s not your lookout. Also, make it a point to talk to the employee with an empathetic tone.
What Would You Need for a Termination Meeting?
You should carry some important materials for the termination meeting. If you go through the materials in detail, you will be prepared for what exactly you need to say in such a meeting. This will help you conduct the interaction quite smoothly. Some companies hand over a formal termination letter to employees that is neither lengthy nor complicated. It’s written in simple words that an employee’s service is no longer required, of course citing the reasons if there are any. It isn’t always necessary to hand over a termination letter to the employee. However, you should always be prepared to inform the employee of all the elements.
Do Terminated Employees Get Employee Benefits?
In case the employee and their dependents were receiving health coverage from the company, you must forward the COBRA notification to them. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act provides the employees and their dependents who have to let go of their health benefits, the right to continue with the group health benefits via the group health plan for a limited time under circumstances such as death, divorce, a cut down in the working hours, and a voluntary or involuntary loss of job. The COBRA notification should comprise detailed information on how long will the employee receive coverage from an employee plan, where to forward the payments, how long they will stay covered under the COBRA, and other relevant information.
You should have a company property checklist prepared to make sure that any company property is returned at the time of the termination. The checklist should comprise uniforms, keys, computer equipment, password, materials, tools, and other equipment. If you have anything more to add, include it on the list.
Avoid informing an employee at 9-o-clock in the morning that they have a meeting with the HR department once the day gets over. Most employers do this, but the consequences can be severe. This will have a detrimental impact on the employee and will be cruel as well. When you decide to discharge a worker of their duties, ask their manager to bring them to HR or approach them directly. This is supposed to be the most professional way.