Terminating Employees

It's inevitable

Mar 6, 2018

As staffing companies and as businesses, we take pride in making the right choices to ensure best-fit hires. Unfortunately, even the best of intentions cannot prevent an occasional misfire. Furthermore, sometimes an initially-great hire can experience a fall-out due to unforeseen circumstances. Now is the time to establish policies and procedures for termination. Not only will it lessen the stress when it happens, it will also protect you should an unhappy terminated employee decide to file a wrongful termination suit.

Practical Guidelines

·         From job descriptions and expectations to code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, have accurate, well-written documentation. Ensure that every employee understands the policies.

·         Treat everyone the same – regardless of company position, gender, ethnicity, age, or disability.

·         Document every incident – including date, details, and the company’s response - even the seemingly minor. If major issues crop up later, only documented situations can be used in your “case” for termination.

Performance Issues

Poor performance can often be “treated” without the need for termination. The following steps can often result in a positive ending. Though it involves time and expense, it is usually a better option than termination.

Meet with the employee in question to discuss the performance issues. Try to get to the root of the problem.

·         Is it a lack of communication? Does the employee understand the responsibilities and expectations that come with his/her position?

·         Is it a lack of skill? Does it merit an investment in online training or attending classes?

·         Is the real problem an outside personal issue that is affecting his/her work?

Once you understand what the problem is, there is often a viable solution. Coaching and empathy, while remaining firm in your expectations can make a remarkable difference. And if they don’t, you will have sufficient documentation to merit termination.

Possible Theft of Company Data and or Property and/or Potential Violence

These are graver issues than performance. If you suspect an employee or others have accused him, you must deal with the problem immediately, but be fair in the process.

Meet with any employees connected to the situation – meet with them individually, but have a neutral party attend the meeting and take notes. At the end of the session, everyone in attendance should read the minutes and sign their agreement. If they don’t agree, they need to sign a paper expressing their disagreement.

You may need to place some individuals on administrative leave with pay while you continue your investigation, being as prompt as possible in bringing it to a close.

 Handle termination quickly and thoroughly

·         Have a neutral party present when you tell the employee of their termination. If there is any potential for violence, have a security guard present.

·         Do not allow the employee to return to his work area – send someone else for his/her personal items.

·         Appropriate all company files, equipment, electronics, etc.

·         Sever all network access before they leave the building. Change any passwords that the employee used in his/her position.

·         If the employee has company property off-site, confer with local authorities on the correct way to retrieve it.

·         Escort the employee out of the building and off the property.

·         Finally, be honest with your staff – without degrading the terminated employee. Answer questions, but discourage gossip. Recognize that workflow may be briefly interrupted.

Terminating an employee is never fun, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. It often brings immense relief to coworkers who have been “walking on eggshells” and when done correctly can actually increase company morale. Furthermore, there are always lessons to be learned that will help you avoid similar situations in the future.

Of course, the more time spent ensuring solid hires, the less cause for termination. That’s where Lofton Staffing comes to your aid. Since 1979, Lofton has built a reputation on providing staffing solutions that companies can rely on to make their businesses more efficient, cost-effective and profitable. Our purpose is to provide the best service possible. To do this, we set high standards for ourselves, strive for perfection in every aspect.  Contact us today.





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