Obviously no one likes to lose their job, but sometimes it just has to happen. When it does, company leaders have an obligation to handle these situations with integrity and respect.
This obligation does not only apply to how the final day is handled, however, the days that lead up to that day is just as important.
I am often asked by Tilson clients to assist with terminations. The first question I usually ask is, “What is the reason?” If the answer relates to poor performance in any fashion, my next question is always, “Are they aware their job is in jeopardy?”
We can’t assume that employees know if they are or are not doing their jobs well or to management’s expectations. Managers need to openly communicate and regularly provide feedback. Constructive feedback is ideal.
Managers also need to document that feedback was provided. If it was a verbal conversation, make a note of the date and place the conversation occurred. If a written warning is needed, be sure to have the employee sign it and provide them a copy.
And, when enough is enough, make sure to let the employee know that their job is in jeopardy if improvement doesn’t occur. Losing one’s job due to poor performance should never come as a surprise.
While the termination may still be sad and/or stressful, everyone will sleep better after all is said and done if the above tips are followed, and especially if the employee was treated with respect throughout the process.