Firing employees is one of the most challenging moments for any business owner or human resource management specialist. Strictly speaking, firing a worker requires excellent communication skills, conflict management, and research of legal matters.
It’s vital to design a termination plan to smoothly say goodbye to your employees. This article explains essential elements to integrate into your firing plan.
Prepare a plan for when it’s time to let an employee go
Culminating an employee relationship by firing is a problematic situation.
From the point of view of any human resources specialist, it is never desirable to fire an employee; however, it happens. Regardless of the motivations, handling a termination process in remote work environments requires professionalism, legal research, and optimal communication skills.
And when it comes to remote employees, the lack of face-to-face interactions entails other complexities, such as dealing with complicated feelings through communicational technologies.
According to Dick Grote, a human resources management expert, firing employees is like divorce. “The appropriate metaphor? A no-fault divorce.
As painful as divorce may be at the time, it allows people to correct a mistake and move on to a more fulfilling future. Handled well, termination works the same way”, stresses Grote. John Rampton also suggests unique ethical steps for firing employees gracefully and ethically.
In Remoto Workforce, we list these steps for you to include in your firing plan:
- Offer improvement opportunities in advance
- Report to Human Resources on employee performance.
- Create a transition plan that includes the exact date and time to end the employment relationship.
- Be clear and concise when communicating the decision to the employee.
- Avoid any degrading treatment.
- Always have a witness and document the entire firing process.
Double-checking your plans with HR
Human resources area have a central role in the termination of all employment contracts, including remote work agreements.
In preparing your termination plan, you should consider following company policy and the procedures used by the Human Resources department. HR can help shape the process, guide the conversation and minimize potential damage to both company and employee.
Worth adding that it would be useful for HR and business owners to have the support of the Head of Remote to manage your dismissal decisions.
Avoid any risk of legal action by documenting
When ending a relationship with an employee, it’s essential to incorporate measures to reduce legal risk.
All companies include procedures to avoid costs derived from lawsuits, and HR departments help to alleviate delicate situations. It would be best to integrate legal advice within your firing plan, especially when ethically problematic issues emerge, such as harassment, violence, and discrimination based on cultural, gender, and sexual diversity.
In this video, Peter Lagos explains how to avoid lawsuits when firing workers, including non-discrimination, documentation, constructive criticism, rehabilitation, and excellent communication.
Bonus: a quick list of things you should never do
There are specific things to avoid when firing an employee:
- Not providing sufficient notice to the worker.
- Hiding facts to avoid hurting worker feelings.
- Not documenting the process.
- Disrespecting the employee by acting in the heat of the moment.