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How To Handle Terminations

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Terminating an employee is never an easy task, because it involves severing a relationship, regardless of whether it was long-term or short lived. The terminated employee will most often experience feelings of low self-esteem, rejection, anger, shame and despair. Thus, it is essential that the employer or manager handle the termination with dignity, and in such a way as to give the departing employee the utmost respect. Here are some tips on how to handle terminations properly.

1. Respect The Departing Employee’s Privacy

Apart from the impact the termination will have on the employee’s income, the employee will not doubt feel additional anxiety about his former colleagues and workmates will be saying about him when he leaves. It is thus important to make it company policy to keep the details of terminations highly confidential and limited to only those managers who are actually involved in the termination. Not only does this show respect for the terminated employee, but it also assures existing employees that they will be treated the same way, in the event that they resign or are terminated.

2. Set The Proper Time And Place For The Termination Meeting

In keeping with the privacy policy of the company concerning the details of employee terminations, it is also of utmost importance that the termination meeting itself be scheduled during a time when most of the employees are away from the company premises or on break. Thus, it is best to schedule termination meetings at the end of the day and on the end of the workweek.

3. Deliver The Message Clearly

Start the meeting off by telling the employee that you have difficult news for him, so as to prepare the employee for what he is about to hear. After a few moments, tell your employee that after a lot of analysis and consideration, you have decided to let him go and are terminating his employment. Avoid ambiguous phrases such as “we have decided to move on” or that you would like to “make changes within the organization”. Be gentle yet direct to the point, to avoid misunderstandings.

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