Letting go of an employee is something “not” to take lightly, as most know. There are many, many considerations before you potentially destroy someone’s life and family by letting them go through termination. PLEASE, be very thoughtful about it during these challenging times.
A termination, regardless of your personal feelings for the employees, must be ethical, genuine, and based on evidence that supports the decision.
Before letting go of (terminating) an employee ask the following questions.
- Is my decision to terminate based on an individualized assessment of this employee’s performance or abilities OR am I being influenced by stereotypes or perceptions?
- Do I have a legitimate business reason for the termination? What is it?
- Do I have a documentary record supporting my decision? Is it accurate and complete?
- Is this termination consistent with company policy?
- Has the employee been made aware of performance issues and given an opportunity to correct them? Are efforts by management to obtain satisfactory performance and lack of response by the employee documented?
- Have I involved the human resources department, especially where a situation appears to present difficult personnel issues or the potential for legal action?
- Is the termination decision going to come as a surprise to the employee? If so, why?
- Has the employee made any complaints, charges or grievances that would affect the company’s right to terminate this employee? (sexual harassment, wage/hour overtime pay, failure to accommodate a disability, etc.)
- Is the employment at-will or are there some limitations on the right to terminate?
- How is the employee likely to react to the termination?
- Am I prepared to conduct an exit interview?
- Has the company obtained legal advice? Does the possibility of a legal claim, if the person is a member of an otherwise protected class, warrant getting legal advice before the termination occurs?