What to Do When Dealing with an Employee Termination - by Dean Burgess

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Hiring an employee is always a risk. You’re casting a vote of confidence in their qualifications and abilities, but unfortunately, that confidence doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes a staff member or a contractor simply isn’t a good fit for the position, and when this becomes evident, you may need to let them go. HR Solutions, LLC addresses this extensively in their training course titled Staffing Strategies - Recruit, Interview, and Hire Successfully. Doing so can be a complex process, though, and employers should consider these tips to minimize conflict.


Signs It’s Time to Let an Employee Go

There are a few definite signs that an employee may not be serving your business’s interests. Employees or contractors who ignore directions or disregard protocol are likely to do more harm than good. In other cases, an employee isn’t malicious, but their skills simply aren’t compatible with the requirements of the position. According to CareerBuilder statistics, 40% of employers have let an employee go for tardiness.


You need to rely on your employees to complete tasks competently, and if you can’t reasonably expect this, it's time to terminate the employee in question. Just as hiring an employee is a risk, though, so is letting them go. Many liabilities can emerge throughout this process, and protecting your business is essential.


One of the best ways to shield your business from liability is to maintain a clear system for managing all employee documents, as also stressed by HR Solutions, in their training course HR Recordkeeping. This system should include files on current and former employees, and Business Management Daily notes that it should include any documented performance concerns or policy violations. This can help you handle any disputes that may emerge after a termination. If you don’t have document management software, you can import (embed in PDF terms) your file into an Excel spreadsheet. This will make them easier to find and organize.


Having the Hard Conversation

Once you’ve decided that termination is the best option, it’s time to have the conversation. Telling an employee that they’ve been terminated is never easy, but you should approach the discussion with a respectful yet assertive tone. You may provide the individual with justification for the decision but do not entertain any objections or arguments. This will likely lead to escalation and potential conflict.


After the termination is complete, there are several administrative tasks that you will likely need to tend to. You will need to document the dismissal and remove the employee from your payroll. If you manage a small team, you might also benefit from quietly informing the other employees that their colleagues will not be returning to work. You can answer any questions they have, but be careful not to compromise the former employee’s privacy.


Fill Open Positions With a Recruiting Agency

Terminating an employee will leave an open position in your company, but if you’re a busy business owner, you likely don’t have time to recruit a replacement. Luckily, you can enlist help from a recruiting agency to fill the position and ensure that you get the best candidate for the job. Recruiters are skilled in sourcing highly qualified, vetted job seekers with specialties such as marketing, tech, human resources, and design. You may even have a list of candidates to review within a few days of submitting the position. It’s easy to find a recruitment agency to meet your hiring needs using an online job board, as there are a number of solutions.


Handle employee dismissals with confidence. Letting go of an employee is one of the most difficult parts of any management position. Sometimes it’s essential, though, if you want to see your business thrive. Work with a recruiter to fill the open position and minimize the inconvenience caused by a dismissal.




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