Are you faced with the possibility of terminating your employee? Here’s a quick list of items that you will want to consider before taking the leap towards termination:
1. Have you clearly identified the problem? Issues may range from poor performance, to attendance issues. Once identified, is there a clear pattern of behavior that cannot be overlooked such as a violation of company policy? Be sure that you understand the issue and the scope of the problem before considering termination.
2. Once you have an understanding of the problem, did you communicate your concerns with your employee one on one?
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3. Have you given your employee a chance to explain their side of the story?
4. Have you made your employee aware that there may be options to grieve their case with an independent arbitrator if applicable to your organization such as an HR representative, an ombudsperson or manager.
5. Did you alert your employee as to the next steps in the process? A best practice is to assess the situation and then get back to your employee as to whether or not they will be subject to any disciplinary action.
6. Have you investigated or spoken to others who may have been impacted by the behavior as appropriate before making a decision to terminate?
7. Have you assessed the employees’ offense versus the employees’ overall performance and reputation? Is this a first time offense or is there a pattern? Is the offense egregious enough to disregard all of the above?
8. Have you reviewed the terminations of past employees to ensure that you are applying the reasons for termination consistently so that you do not put your company at risk of accusations of disparate treatment?
9. Have you documented the issue as well as all of your conversations with your employee leading up to your decision to terminate?
10. Did you check with your local or regional regulatory bodies or HR staff to ensure that you are following any requirements for your area related to termination such as dates of last paycheck, or notice period time frames?
11. Once a decision to terminate has been made, have you determined how you will ensure that the employee can exit the organization with a modicum of respect and courtesy by giving the employee an opportunity to collect their things (during a down time if possible) so as not be embarrassed in front of their colleagues?
12. Have you sat down with your employee within the time frame specified at your initial meeting with a clearly documented reason for the termination, (as opposed to just firing the employee without any explanation)?
13. Did you explain how termination affects their benefits package as well as any details relating to their last paycheck, vacation payouts if applicable, the company policy relating to references for termed employees, etc?
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