3 Things You Should Do To Terminate Humanely

Have you ever thought about the impact of the words we use when we “let someone go,” “terminate” or “fire” someone? The images these words conjure up aren’t pretty. Worse, many times, these words reflect how the employee actually feels when they are told that they are being “separated” from their organization.
There are some simple steps you can follow to make this process easier on all involved.
Start With The Right Mindset
When most people think “termination,” they only see the negative aspects of the process. When you start with a less than positive outlook, it is hard to relax enough to perform the work to be done in an optimal manner.
Start by recognizing that you aren’t ending a career, you are promoting one. The person leaving your organization is being freed to find something that better fits their skills, interests and personality. They get to make a fresh start. In the long term, they will be happier and so will you.
I’ve been in human resources now for over 30 years and, during all that time, I’ve only seen a handful of people, out of many thousands, who didn’t end up with as good or better job than the one they lost.
Fire Them; Don’t Fire Them Up
If your supervisors aren’t trained and experienced in how to properly terminate an employee, they can create more upset than necessary. Angry employees sometimes seek legal assistance, attempt to negatively impact your relationships with customers, disrupt remaining staff, and create negative perceptions with others. Many a discrimination charge has been spawned by a less than optimally skilled supervisor trying to power through a termination.
Make sure your supervisors are fully trained in the process. Bring us in to help train your staff on key techniques and plan the termination meeting. The little additional work required to do these things will mean less stress for all involved.
Help Them Take The First Step
When a person loses their job, they often feel fearful. How will they pay their bills? How will they find a new job?
The term “corporate responsibility” is frequently bandied about today. If you want your organization to make a difference, provide outplacement assistance (career transition) to the exiting employee. It is both good business and good karma to provide these services.
The sooner the exiting employees gets back to work, the less unemployment you pay, the less likely you will be sued or that the exiting employee will attempt to hurt you in some other way.
Many firms have never heard of this type of program but, once introduced, they never stop using outplacement services.
Terminations are part of business. Do them well and you will be rewarded with less overall cost and bad feelings.

Start today to improve your organization! I’ll be here to encourage and help you in any way I can. Call, write or let’s get together to make this year the best year ever!

Outplacement is a new beginning.

Helping Employees “Out”

We make two critical mistakes in America when it comes to our underperforming or otherwise problematic employees: we either fire them too quickly or not quickly enough. Both outcomes can a have extremely detrimental impact on business performance.
Firing someone is unpleasant and risky. There are legal, customer relation, reputation, remaining co-workers, violence in the workplace and many more opportunities for concern which come into play when you let an employee go. Additionally, the replacement may not perform any better than the person you are terminating.
Smart companies aren’t “parts changers” – they find good people, train and supervise them well. They focus on making their current employees better and don’t seek out the elusive “new answer” which often turns into their “new problem.”
Sometimes, however, helping someone “out” is exactly the right thing to do. I’ve seen terminations make immediate and huge differences in remaining employee morale, turnover, customer service and other factors. Often, due to the concerns mentioned above, chronic underperforming or pernicious employees are allowed to stay much too long.
I have two suggestions to make the termination process less risky and unpleasant.
Fire Well
Get some support when you are considering firing someone. Bring in someone from outside your organization to train and support your supervisors before the termination occurs. A little training and coaching goes a very long way to improve the outcome of these, sometimes very challenging, meetings.
Provide Outplacement Assistance
When you fire someone, their first thought is often “how am I going to … feed myself, pay the rent, etc.” This fear often causes them to do things they might not otherwise do (legal, co-worker morale and customer impacts are the most typical). The terminating employee’s actions distract you from your business and can cost you time, money, reputation and happiness.
Outplacement, using an outside firm to guide the employee in their job search activities, often saves you many times what it costs and it is the humane thing to do. You often hear the phrase “corporate responsibility” bandied about. Here is an opportunity to step up and take responsibility by truly helping folks when they need help.
Know when to fire and how to fire. If you need help making the decision or doing the termination, it is often best to bring an experienced, objective outsider into the loop – to ensure things go easier for all parties. Help employees “out” by providing outplacement assistance. It is inexpensive and the right thing to do.
Start today to improve your organization! I’ll be here to encourage and help you in any way I can. Call, write or let’s get together to make this year the best year ever!