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Avoid These 5 Classic Firing Mistakes

Terminations may make employees cry, become defensive or even turn violent on you. Others may try and argue their termination or the circumstances that caused it. In any case, whatever you do in the termination meeting can be used against you by the employee. They may try and distort what happened in the meeting so it’s best to avoid these classic firing mistakes.

To protect yourself legally form hearsay issues, it’s best to have someone with you when you conduct the meeting. Follow-up with a memo to the witnessing party and have them sign it for extra protection and verification.

Let’s look at 5 ways you can avoid termination mistakes:

Keep your cool. Avoid allowing an already emotional situation to get heated. Don’t allow the employee to argue and carry on. If you’ve done your homework, there should be no argument

Avoid surprises. Employees should never be completely surprised by a termination. If you’ve been giving them regular feedback and reviews, they should be aware of the situation. No problem worth hiring is worth keeping quite. Communicate.

Choose your words carefully. Employees who are terminated will remember every word you say. Best to keep is short, simple and avoid lengthy descriptions of their performance problems.

Don’t be overly kind. Yes, we should all have compassion, but this is the time for limited compassion. Your feelings do not belong here, this is a business decision. Keep it professional.

Keep quiet. Don’t discuss reasons or details of the termination with other employees. It’s enough to let them know they won’t be working with us anymore. You could end up with a defamation of character lawsuit.

Terminations are challenging and fraught with potential liability concerns. Do your homework, take the precautionary steps ahead of time to be confident in your decision to terminate, and make the decision quickly before problems persist. Be a man/woman of few words and show some decorum when you terminate.

If you need help with a difficult termination, call or email the HR experts at Champion Employer Services.

  • 14 Jul, 2014
  • Tom Elias

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