How to Terminate an Employee the Right Way

Employee termination might be one of the hardest challenges that you may face as an HR. No matter how many times you have spoken to that employee about their performance problems, it will always be hard for them to believe that they deserve to be fired. If there’s no hope for progress, terminating an employee can be the best solution for your company.

Once you make the decision to terminate an employee, you should ensure that the termination process is being performed in the most ethical and professional manner. Keep the below tips in mind to help you terminate your employees the right way.

  • Warn Your Employees Before Firing Them

Terminating an employee should never be a surprise for him/her. Before taking the decision to terminate an employee, figure out if the employee’s problem can be solved, offer all kinds of assistance to help them overcome that problem, and provide consistent feedback on their performance and weak areas. Unless an urgent situation occurs, you should always give your employees enough chances, time, and feedback to improve their performance.

  • Protect Yourself from any Legal Risks

Unfortunately, it’s common that a former employee sues an employer for terminating them. In order to protect your company from any legal troubles, always accompany your termination decision with documents and data that support your case. Whether the reason of termination was breaking the law, company policy, or failing to meet the job requirements, the key to finalize the termination process without any obstacles is documenting everything and keeping detailed records that prove your reason for firing the employee.

  • Make Sure You Have a Witness

Firing is a very sensitive and unpleasant situation for the employee, so you can never expect how they would react to your decision. One of the best practices that you can do when it comes to the termination meeting is to have another trusted employee in the room. It’s recommended to have an HR person as he/she would be more experienced in such cases and can back you up when needed.

  • Revoke the Employee’s Access to all Company Data

Once you’re done with the termination meeting, the last step is to make sure that you disable the terminated employee’s access to their work email, intranet, and all information systems in the company. Also, don’t forget to ask the employee to hand over their laptop, smartphone, door pass, or any other company-owned equipment. It’s worth mentioning that ZenHR’s off-boarding package allows you to identify all company assets that need to be returned as well as documents that need to be signed.

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