To help your business sustain and grow, you need to cut out unproductive employees. While it may sound easy, firing an employee can be a horrible experience for some. The only way ahead is to know how you can fire an employee gracefully and professionally. Doing so will help you protect the rights of your business and those of your other team members.
Make a note of the following pointers the next time you decide to fire an employee.
Keep your HR Manager in the loop
Consult with your HR Manager once you decide on firing an employee. Understand whether your decision is in line with the company’s termination policy. Discuss the final compensation that is due to the employee or any other contract terms that need an explanation. Once you have all the details in place, proceed to prepare the necessary paperwork.
Arrange a meeting with the employee
Upon discussing with the HR Manager, the next step is to set up a meeting with the employee. Ask your HR Manager to arrange and communicate the meeting details with the employee. It is advisable that you set up a face-to-face meeting than doing it over a phone call or email. Fix a date and time that works for all the parties involved.
Avoid humiliation and degradation
Contract termination not just affects the employee in question but the other team members too. So, if you fire an employee publicly, you risk affecting the morale of the others. Besides, to maintain integrity, it is always recommended that you carry such conversations behind closed doors.
Be transparent in your dealings
Just how you convey the job requirements while hiring, let the employee know the factors leading to the termination. Whether it is the work ethics or job progress, be clear and transparent when conversing. Also, address any queries the employee may have, such as contract terms or on pending salary.
Initiate the action in the presence of a witness
Ensure that you communicate the termination details in the presence of the HR Manager or any trusted employee. If needed at a later stage, the witness can confirm that all the actions were carried in a lawful manner.
Take the call while adhering to all legalities
Before you fire an employee, always ensure that you read through the employee contract. Make sure that you do not break the contract or violate its terms. Also, do not fire the employee for reasons that are not listed in their contract. This will help in avoiding any backlash or legal trouble from the employee at a later stage.
Avoid surprising the employee
Never make the termination an out of the blue action. Let it come through a series of warnings or notices. Have a concrete reason backing your decision. If the employee isn’t performing as expected, give enough time to improve. Failing this, you can choose to terminate the contract. Also, keep your explanations short to avoid overwhelming the employee.
Ensure proper surrender
As soon as you announce the termination, ensure all the following paperwork and handovers are done properly. Ask the employee to surrender any company belongings that she/he may have. These could be a laptop, phone, or office keys. Also, do not forget to restrict the employee’s access to the company’s IT system or online accounts.
Inform team members about the termination
Lastly, to maintain professionalism throughout the termination process, inform your team members about your decision. Communicate the news of the termination and the changes it will bring along. Let them know how the decision will impact the ongoing workload until you find a replacement. Most importantly, communicate the news with dignity and be prepared to answer any of the team members’ questions.
Remember these pointers the next time you take such a step. Firing an employee gracefully will help avoid any backlash from team members. Also, it ensures that your company’s reputation is maintained in the eyes of the employees. Thereby giving a boost to your employer brand.
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