How to Terminate an Employee in 8 Simple Steps
No one looks forward to or prefers to write up an employee, and it is certainly not their first option. Written warnings are often a hint that an employee’s early disciplinary procedures have come and gone, and that the employee is on the verge of being terminated as a result. By this stage, you’ve most certainly invested a significant amount of time and effort into assisting them in changing–with little or no success.
Although escalating things “officially” might be scary, it can also be a valuable learning experience. Writing down a warning generates a paper trail and gives staff with a formal process to follow in order to get things back on track. Follow these eight simple steps to ensure that you get it properly the first time.
1. Never do it while you’re upset or irritated.
It may seem strange to begin with a “don’t,” but this is by far the most critical stage to complete. You should avoid working on an employee write-up if you are already upset or agitated about the circumstances. You must be able to capture things objectively (which we will discuss more below), which might be difficult when you are emotionally invested in the situation.
You’ve most certainly previously been through a spoken disciplinary procedure, and you’ve likely received criticism in a variety of forms. You may be prepared to tell staff how terribly they’ve messed up and how much you despise them. Despite how tempting it may seem, refrain from doing so.
The ability to maintain your composure in any employee disciplinary issue, but this is especially critical when it comes to written documentation. In most cases, a formal employee write-up will be placed in their employment file, but you should not presume that no one else will ever read it. It is necessary to discuss whatever evidence you have concerning an employee’s performance in the event of a wrongful termination lawsuit, and you want the conversation to remain business-related rather than personal.
A formal employee write-up is also a kind of progressive punishment that is intended to aid in the correction of an employee’s conduct in a practical manner, rather than to serve as a written diatribe against the person in question. If it is not a piece of useful information for them, or if it is just you venting your frustrations, it is not suitable to include in your message. In the event that an employee does something wrong and it is necessary to discipline them, take a day off, gain some distance, and return to the situation with fresh eyes.
2. Make a written record of the situation.
Now, let’s go into the how- to’s. It is critical to have documentation when reviewing employee performance, whether it is good or negative, and managers should get comfortable recording all kinds of employee interactions. Having strong documentation may protect you in the following ways:
Even in places where employees have the right to sue, it is important to maintain a paper trail in the event of a lawsuit.
You must be able to back up the choices that you make about your staff, including why some are promoted and others are dismissed, as well as who gets a raise and why.
The establishment of a defined timeframe for employee conduct and escalating disciplinary action.
You should begin your employee write-up with documents detailing the issue with their performance as soon as you’re ready (and calm):
You should address your written communication to the employee and provide a record of their actions up to this point.
Make use of precise examples that include times and dates.
Above all else, stick to the facts of the situation. Maintain your objectivity and limit your comments to what occurred and when.
Make sure you’re not putting your own spin on things or making people feel like you’re satisfying a personal vendetta when you write out an employee review. Don’t mention anything like “Tom is a procrastinator and a slacker.” Say something like “Tom has been late for his shift three times,” and be sure to specify which shifts these were, as well as the specific clock-in times.
3. Make use of corporate rules to support your position.
Have you ever heard someone claim that the reason they were dismissed was because their boss didn’t care for them or anything similar? While workers may claim that a manager is biased or that they have drawn their own conclusions as a result of a negative performance evaluation, a manager’s objective should be to seem to be the polar opposite.
No, it is not the case that workers are incapable of meeting an arbitrary requirement. It’s because they aren’t adhering to the corporate rules that they committed to when they accepted their positions. In other words, once you’ve went through what’s wrong with an employee’s performance, the next step is to explain your reasons and bring their actions back to the company’s standards and expectations for their position. Here are a few examples of frequent situations:
Refer to your attendance policy, which states that workers may only be tardy twice before disciplinary action is done. If an employee is regularly late to work, refer to your attendance policy, which states that employees can only be tardy once before disciplinary action is taken.
Employees who do not wear their anticipated uniform while on the clock are in breach of company policy, which states that they must always be in their expected uniform.
If an employee continues to use social media during work hours, you should remind them of your mobile phone use policy and that they should not be utilizing social media or personal devices while on the job.
The purpose of a written write-up in the context of progressive discipline is to explain why the recorded conduct does not meet standards and how workers are expected to change. You should include any employee handbooks or attendance policies that were signed by your workers when they were recruited in your new employee handbook.
4. Include any pertinent witness statements that may be available.
Include the statement of another team member if the performance problem at hand was brought to your attention by another team member, if the issue includes numerous workers, or if your employee works closely with another supervisor or shift manager between you. Keep in mind that any of these remarks might become relevant in the event of a legal lawsuit later on. Because of this, it is critical that witness testimonies follow the same principles as excellent documentation: “
All witness testimonies should be factual observations, not subjective views, according to the rules of evidence.
Witness testimony should aid in the development of a plausible case of continued conduct that led to the termination of the employee.
Other supervisors’ attempts or disciplinary steps to rectify conduct should be included in witness testimony at any point in the investigation.
5. Establish realistic expectations for progress.
After you’ve identified the areas in which your employee’s performance needs to be improved and why, it’s important to provide instructions for how you want them to make the necessary improvements in their work. It is not useful to merely list the things that workers have done incorrectly. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, workers would prefer to get critical feedback from their employer rather than praise, and 72 percent of employees feel their performance would improve if they got corrective input.
Corrective feedback is straightforward, focuses on the problem (rather than the person giving it), and gives suggestions for change. As a result, prepare your staff for what will happen once they have gotten their written evaluation. Include the remedial action that will be taken as well as the consequence that will occur if things improve or if they worsen. If the employee does not improve and the next step after the write-up is termination, make it known to them so that they are aware of what is at stake and may prepare themselves accordingly.
6. Deliver the news in person if possible (and proof of receipt)
As soon as you’ve done the disciplinary write-up, organize a meeting with your employee so that you can go through it in person. Bring a witness to the meeting to prove that it had place and that your employee was made aware of any issues with their work performance that needed to be addressed. Then it’s time to start having a dialogue about it:
Share your concerns with your staff and walk them through each instance of poor performance. If an employee asks for evidence or argues that a certain problem occurred or did not exist, refer to the documentation you have on hand.
Bring up your company’s policies once again. When they were employed, every employee was required to read and agree to the policies.
Please explain what will happen next and what actions you anticipate them to take in reaction to the article.
At the conclusion of the document, have your employee sign it to indicate that they have received and read it.
It’s possible that your employee may not take the news well. They have the right to refuse to sign the document. To avoid this, the Society for Human Resource Management recommends either leaving space on the disciplinary write-up for employees to add their own comments and signed response, or allowing employees to submit a written response with their signature, which you can then attach to the employee’s disciplinary write-up.
7. Make a duplicate for your records.
You should give them a copy of the write-up and maintain one for your own records after the employee has signed it. It should be included in their personnel file so that you have a record and verification that they have received the write-up.
Whenever a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit happens, you’ll be prepared with the resources you need. The paperwork will demonstrate that you followed the procedure to the letter and that your employee was kept informed at every stage of the process.
8. Follow up with the client
The disciplinary procedure does not come to an end after an employee has been written up. Finally, be sure you follow up in accordance with the timetable you established in the disciplinary notification. Check to see whether your employee’s performance improves and if they adhere to the modifications outlined in their performance evaluation. If you haven’t already, you’ve set out the steps for what will happen next.
If your employee shows signs of improvement, you may want to explore extending the probationary term beyond the date of their write-up. Trust takes time to re-establish, and they are unlikely to be named employee of the month in a single day. It took a long time for things to reach the point of disciplinary action, and it will take even longer to get them back.
An employee write-up is not a panacea for resolving disciplinary issues at work. In certain cases, a formal notice is required to provide an employee with the wake-up call they need to adjust their conduct. Whether they show signs of improvement, offer them greater responsibility and see if they can continue to rise to the occasion.READ MORE—– Why eCommerce merchants need financial flow Possible corporate restructuring solutions 10 legal issues every business should know
The Best Way to Fire an Employee
Employment Termination Procedures: What You Need to Know and How to Put Them In Place
Do you have a situation where you must terminate an employee? If you have taken the appropriate actions to assist the employee in improving their job performance—and the procedures have failed—it may be time to consider terminating the individual’s employment. Most firms put off terminating an employee for much longer than is necessary because they are worried about legal ramifications as well as employee morale. When it comes to terminating staff, you should follow certain legal and ethical procedures.
As you plan to terminate an employee, be certain that the actions of the organization are without question. The manner in which you terminate an employee sends a significant message to your remaining employees, which may be either favorable or bad. The last phase in an extended employee coaching process is the termination of an employee’s employment. It should only be used as a last option if performance coaching has failed.
Keep in mind that keeping an underperforming employee does not mean putting your company’s success, a particular department’s performance, or the success of your other workers in jeopardy. Fire the employee in order to safeguard the success of your other workers as well as the success of your company.
Provide Feedback to Let the Employee Know They Are Failing The measures you take while preparing to terminate an employee are critical. Unless the employee’s behaviors necessitate his or her immediate expulsion from the premises, it is necessary to provide the employee with more severe criticism regarding his or her job performance over time.
Make certain that you are communicating successfully with the employee by soliciting input from the employee on whether or not you are speaking effectively with the employee. Keep in mind that the purpose of providing feedback is to assist the employee in achieving success and improving.
In addition, the acts of the employee communicate effectively. The employee considers the input and decides whether or not to adjust his or her behavior. Document the substance of the feedback sessions, as well as the dates and times of the meetings, as well as the names of the individuals who attended the counseling session.
Personnel disciplinary actions (PIAs) have a bad image among workers, who see them as the penultimate step before being fired. This is due to the fact that many businesses utilize PIPs erroneously or for the purpose of providing a legal protection before terminating employees. PIPs should only be utilized if the employer has a genuine belief that the employee has the potential to enhance his or her performance. Otherwise, it is torturous for the individual as well as a time-consuming task for managers and human resource personnel.
A performance improvement plan (PIP) is virtually never applicable in the case of managers and human resource workers. If a manager’s performance is so poor that he or she requires a Performance Improvement Plan, it is unlikely that he or she will restore the trust of reporting staff or his or her own supervisor.
Human resource personnel have an excessive amount of access to extremely private and irreplaceable information. Aside from that, the harm done to your faith in them and their reputation as a result of their stance is almost hard to repair.
Act Legally in Order to Make a Difference
Here is information that will assist you in carrying out these acts in a lawful manner and with the desired effect.
Provide Feedback That Has an Impact on the Situation
Make your input have the effect it deserves by delivering it in the manner and with the approach that is appropriate for the situation. If you can avoid responding in a defensive manner, your input may make a significant impact to others.
Strategic Approaches to Performance Improvement
Make use of these tactics to assist the employee in improving his or her overall level of performance. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you done all in your power to assist the underperforming employee in succeeding.
Enhancing Performance Through Coaching
Look no farther than this coaching strategy that will guide you through the process of helping an employee enhance his or her job performance. This strategy eliminates the need for discipline while yet producing excellent outcomes.
How to Have a Difficult Conversation with Someone
There is a significant chance that you will have to engage in a tough talk at some point in your life. These procedures will assist you in having unpleasant talks with individuals who want professional input.
Process for Developing Individual and Organizational Performance
Introducing a Performance Improvement Plan will be necessary if your typical method is not supporting the employee in succeeding at work, and you feel there is a reasonable chance that the employee can and will enhance his or her performance.
Plan for Improving Performance (PIP)
Designed to encourage positive communication between a staff member and his or her supervisor, the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) helps to define areas of job performance that need to be improved. At the manager’s discretion, the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is established when it becomes essential to assist a staff member in improving their performance.
This framework helps the management to define objectives, develop performance measurements, hold review sessions, and track progress in a structured manner. When it comes to following a performance development plan, there is no set period of time that is expected of an individual. If no progress is achieved, you may even terminate an individual’s job after a few weeks if no progress is made. As a result, after the PIP has begun, you should never indicate how long it will last.
Procedures for Terminating an Employee
These are the measures to take if you have determined that terminating your employee’s job is in everyone’s best interests.
Disciplinary Action Will Be Taken
The implementation of progressive disciplinary action will be necessary if you consider that the employee is unwilling or unable to enhance his or her work performance. Once again, documentation is essential to ensure that you have a record of the actions you followed during the procedure. Each stage should be documented using this Progressive Discipline Warning Form.Strong-willed people think in 14 ways that others don’t. 13 Smart Online Business Tips And Tricks How to Stand Out on Your Freelance Resume
However, just like with the PIP, if you do not feel that the employee is capable of improvement, why not terminate employment immediately. All of your colleagues will benefit from your decision to avoid a lengthy and drawn-out procedure. To be sure, at this stage in your relationship with the employee, assuming the supervisor has done their job properly, you have enough performance counseling records and disciplinary action forms on file to justify firing the individual.
Until anything out of the ordinary occurs, you should follow the stages in the progressive disciplinary process for each employee you terminate after you decide to go down this road (which you don’t have to do) unless something unusual happens. If you want to present the employee with a variety of alternatives, you may begin by completing the stage of developing a performance improvement plan.
Suggest that you quit your employment voluntarily.
When confronted with the prospect of participating in a disciplinary action process, you might inquire if the employee want to voluntarily leave the company. A schedule for when the employee must provide notice may be worked out with the other party involved. Individuals who are unable to work may find themselves unable to claim unemployment benefits.
Understand that the employees are unable to do their duties efficiently.
When you have agreed that an employee is unable to perform their duties for any reason, you might issue a couple of weeks’ notice and bid them farewell. Professionalism and directness should be used to conduct the meeting.
Talk to an attorney who specializes in employment law
Seek legal advice before agreeing to a termination or firing an employee to ensure that you are aware of all of your choices. If you give any severance money, for example, you will want to require the leaving employee to sign a release of claims that is different for workers over the age of forty and those under the age of forty, as an example.
The Employment Termination Meeting should be held.
When the time comes, you will want to plan and conduct the job termination meeting. When scheduling a meeting, you should not offer an employee more than a few minutes’ notice before to the event. Your actions will cause the employee undue anxiety and distress. Most of the time, though, if the employee is being really honest with themselves, they will anticipate this situation.
Work through the procedures on the Employment Termination Checklist to bring your employment to an end. Some measures, such as consulting your IT department, may need to be completed before the termination meeting takes place. Employees’ departure interviews are often referred to as “termination meetings.”
In the process of terminating an employee, the most important lesson learned was:
The majority of individuals take an excessive amount of time to terminate an employee. If an employee is found to be misbehaving in public, disciplinary action should be taken after just one instance of such behavior. You should collect evidence and terminate an employee if they repeatedly fail to meet deadlines and you have verified that the problem is not due to training or another identifiable source.
Managers who fail to support the execution of a corporate goal and vision should be fired if you have implemented them in your workplace. Employees that are chronically autocratic should be fired if you are attempting to build a culture of empowerment and enablement. People don’t change all that much; even while HR experts have observed changes, they have also watched months of pain and lost effort on the part of the organization.
Additionally, human resource professionals often get comments stating that terminating an employee was the greatest thing that ever happened to them since it resulted in the employee moving on to more favorable circumstances.
Employers should conduct themselves in a lawful and ethical manner, with kindness, respect, and compassion, but they should also terminate workers who are not doing their jobs properly.