Employee Terminations: Rolling Out the Red Carpet is Not Just for New Hires
Let’s face it, no one in human resources enjoys firing someone. It might be the worst part of the job. Yet, the one redeeming part of an employee termination (and a resignation) is that you have the chance to do your workplace right. Companies spend a lot of time and emphasize ensuring that their hiring process is streamlined so that everyone thinks highly of them. Well, here’s a new take: the termination and resignation process should also build your brand. You should roll out the red carpet for employees leaving your company just as you roll it out for those joining it. You want to leave your former employee with an awesome impression even when you disconnect. Here’s how to do it.
Select the day and time
There are several thoughtful ways that you can go about this in an employee termination. With a resignation, you don’t have as much say. Select the day and time of the resignation with your employee in mind. What will benefit them in terms of their job search? Some human resource professionals say that early in the day and early in the week is best to help an employee bounce back and continue to look for other employment (rather than spending the entire weekend bummed). That said, you should also be cognizant of what’s going on in your office. While the news is bound to spread that someone was fired, there’s no reason to put them on the spot. If you don’t have to make them pack up their desk in front of everyone, there’s no reason to. End of the day or week is a valid option to avoid prying eyes.
No small talk
Here’s the thing, no one wants to have this conversation. It’s easy to call someone in to fire them and beat around the bush. Yet, that’s not the way to start this type of meeting. Get down to business and tell your employee that there’s bad news. When you inform them that their employment was terminated, be ready to listen. This is your time to be there for your former employee because this is one of the last memories they’ll have of the company. Be compassionate and don’t pretend you understand how they feel. When they’re ready to go back to their desk to collect their items, go back with them and wish them well as they exit.
Be properly prepared
It’s easy to feel nervous when you’re not only presenting devastating news, but also sending someone off as the final face of the company. That said, you’ll need to be prepared with the information about what will happen next. How will the employee be compensated? What happens to ongoing projects? How will their termination be explained to coworkers? What about references? Or unused vacation time? These are thoughts swirling around your employee’s head, and by having answers to them you help to greatly reduce their stress.
As an HR professional, keep in mind that a company doesn’t stop recruiting when you onboard someone. A company continues to recruit during employment and through termination or resignation. How you treat employees in that process will create a reputation for you, and you’ll want to ensure that reputation is one that you’re proud of.