Best Practices For Terminating an Employee

Best Practices For Terminating an Employee

Hiring a new employee can be time consuming and challenging. Terminating an employee, however, can be even more so and is generally considered one of the most difficult responsibilities of a Manager. The impact of a termination can reverberate throughout the company and can even undermine important relationships with clients.

In order to minimize the negative repercussions that may stem from terminating an employee, here are (5) five best practices that can make the task go as smoothly as possible:


  • Document everything


Regardless of whether or not you think the employee is the type to consult with an employment lawyer about the reasons for his or her termination, it is important to document everything and base your decision to terminate on provable facts rather than emotions. The reason for terminations must not be open to conjecture and should be backed by hard evidence.


  • Terminate the employee in-person


While it might be more comfortable and convenient to inform an employee about his or her termination in an email or by telephone, it is inappropriate to do it this way. Schedule a meeting with the person, and if possible have a second Manager or a Human Resource professional in the room. This individual should take notes and record what was said at the meeting.


  • State the facts


Do not allow the termination to deteriorate into an active debate about the circumstances for his or her termination. State the facts and offer your reasons for letting them go. Provide substantive proof and control any dialogue or outbursts that may ensue. Have your documentation available if there are questions about the circumstances that prompted his or her dismissal, and be certain to not apologize for your actions.


  • Be respectful


Regardless of the reasons for the termination, be respectful and keep your emotions in check. Keeping a positive demeanor is your advantage. You might be angry about what the employee has or has not done or disappointed in the situation but keep in mind that by terminating this employee, you have taken a positive action and are now ready to move forward in a positive way.


  • Inform your staff and clients


Stop the rumor mill before it begins; inform your other employees about the termination. It is also important to alert any clients or vendors that may have a relationship with the employee and who may depend upon them for specific work deliverables. Communicate with confidence and do damage control before any negative circumstances have an opportunity to occur.

While terminating an employee is never fun, it is often necessary for the good of the company as a whole. (You never will know, but perhaps the termination is best for the employee too!) It is important to take certain measures to prevent the termination from becoming a legal or moral conundrum. If all is done well, it should be smooth and relatively stress-free.


For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, gail@ubsassociates.com or call (516) 935-5641.

August 7, 2018