PCC Profesyonel Kariyer Koçu & Kariyer Danışmanı, Ex-HR

What If You Have To Terminate Employment Without Notice?

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I think, there is no way to inform an employee that he or she is being terminated without the risk of inflicting some emotional pain. Thus, it behooves the employer to state the reason for termination with the utmost care. An employee whose feelings are badly bruised or who feels slighted will be more likely to seek out a lawyer and explore a wrongful termination suit. It is not necessary to give the reasons for termination at the time of termination. A short statement face to face indicating that it is no longer in the best interest of the company to continue the employment relationship suffices. Nothing more should be said to the employee. In my experience, any explanation of why an employee is being terminated leads to further questions and the employee is not likely to believe what the employer is stating in any event.

It is also considered good practice to have the employee’s direct supervisor be the one to inform the employee of the termination, and have a member of the company’s management team and human resources department and/or an attorney present as well. During my first times, I had to be alone at the meeting and I’d experienced lots of questions of the employee about the reasons and I could not answer them since I wasn’t the one who directly works with him or her. Also, to have a meeting with the supervisor and another manager will demonstrate that the decision was made collectively, rather than by an individual, but nevertheless with input and approval of someone who has firsthand knowledge of the employee’s job performance. It may also reduce the risk of physical violence.

I mostly prefer for the employers should carry out terminations on Fridays. Assuming that the office is closed over the weekend, it will give all parties involved a few days apart to allow emotions to cool. It will also reduce the risk of an angry employee showing up the following day and disrupting work.

Some thought believes that it should be done at the end of a pay period. My experience is that it does not make a difference or change the outcome of the termination. Rather, once the decision to terminate an employee is made by the employer or supervisor, the timing of the termination should be immediate and carried out prior to the end of the work day if possible. If not, then the termination should be conducted at the start of the following work day (for which the employer will still have to pay the terminated employee).

Letting someone go at the end of the work day is generally not a good idea. When a terminated employee is leaving the premises the same time as all other employees there is a potential for employee interactions that might encourage inappropriate behaviors and other avenues for litigation. Therefore, I suggest to finish all the process such as accounting issues and signing the legal documents as soon as possible after termination meeting.

By the way, to inform the other employees about the reasons in a short way via email is going to satisfy them and decrease the number of possible questions in their mind.

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