Keeping Respect in Human Resources
Have you ever had to terminate someone from your company? In most cases it can be one of the most unpleasant assignments that you have to do as a business owner, manager or supervisor.
It’s unpleasant because you are not only affecting the life of that person sitting across from you; you are also affecting the livelihood of their family. A person that loses their job also feels as though they have a stigma attached to them. Not many people feel comfortable telling prospective employers that they were let go from their job.
But you can make this transition a more pleasant experience for the departing staff person. By exercising one key value, show “Respect”. This is a simple, yet very powerful action.
Regardless of whether the person is leaving your company due to conduct or performance or whether it is an involuntary layoff, they deserve to be treated with courtesy, politeness and kindness.
One way that you can show respect is to plan carefully prior to the termination. You want to make sure that it takes place in a quiet and private area, away from curious onlookers and busy activity. This will show the departing staff person that you understand that this is a difficult situation and that you are doing everything in your power to make the exit less public as possible.
Another way to show respect is to have all paperwork in order and ready to be explained. The departing staff may have many questions about the termination. Most are concerned with “why is this happening to me?” They will want information that makes sense and is believable. They will also want to know about their:
- final pay
- reference letters
Finally, you want to plan for how the exiting staff will gather their belongings. There is nothing that screams disrespect more than having the departing staff gather their belonging while business is still going on around them. Ideally, you will conduct the termination towards the end of the day, when there is less activity and curious co-workers.
Some employers will pack up the personal effects of the terminated staff and either mail the belongings to the person or arrange a time during non-business hours for the staff person to retrieve his belongings.
Remember that as the person delivering the news, to always treat the person the same no matter their race, religion, gender, size, age, or country of origin.
The goal is to treat the person with as much respect as you did, when they first became employed with your company. The person, although shocked and hurt, will remember the moments, following his termination, forever. This means that they will also remember YOU.
Tri-State HR Experts Owner/Founder