You’ve decided it’s time to let the low performer on your team go. You’ve covered your bases in terms of documentation, and you’ve coordinated with HR. But now you have to have the dreaded conversation.

What’s the best way to deliver the news? Who should be in the room with you? What do you say and not say? And how do you tell the rest of the team?

HR Guide To Employee Termination

  • Be certain that letting your employee go really is the last step, think it through thoroughly for example if it is due to an issue that can be improved on should termination really be the solution. You should call the employee to a meeting and discuss the issue to see if it can be solved but to also make them aware that steps may be taken if it cannot this will give them a fair warning. Don’t let firing come as a surprise.
  • If there are no solutions the next step would be to call your employee to a termination meeting. The key here is to be well prepared as the employee may have a number of questions that they will want answers to. Here is a list of some questions that may arise:

-Is today my last day?

-When should I leave?

-Will I receive severance pay? How much?

-Will I receive the bonuses I was eligible for?

-When will I receive my last paycheck?

-Will I be paid for accumulated sick leave or vacation time not taken?

-Am I eligible for unemployment insurance?

-Will you or the company provide employment references? What will you say if you are asked to provide a reference?

-What will my coworkers and clients be told about my termination?

-Will my medical and insurance benefits continue?

-When must I return company property such as a car, mobile phone, and keys?

-What happens to my pension, profit sharing, or savings plans?

-Can I continue to use my office or work area to look for a job?

-When can I go back to my work area to get all my personal things?

-Can I say goodbye to everyone before I go?

  • At the termination meeting always be prepared to listen. When you let an employee know that their employment with your company is being terminated they may act in various ways. Try not to get adsorbed in replying to an emotional conversation, instead just listen and let your employee know that you are willing to talk later when emotions are not so raw. If possible have another member of your HR department join you.
  • After the termination hold a quick meeting with your team just in case they have any questions and to make sure that they fully understand the reasoning behind the firing, especially if the employee was a long-term employee. This will give them closure, re-assure them that their jobs are safe and will help them focus on their work again.

The Main Goal 

HR’s role is to ensure that the employee leaves the company with dignity. By addressing the issues also with the rest of your staff it allows you to create a company culture that is fair and transparent which means that employees don’t live in fear and understand any termination decisions that have been made.