LESSONS ON LETTING SOMEONE GO
While hiring may be seen as a positive, firing is generally regarded as a negative part of people management. But in reality, it doesn’t have to be considered a process. Letting go of people who may not be contributing enough provides room for new talent and enables a business to continue improving its overall culture and productivity. The key is determining the best approach and considering the legal implications if you fail to take the right path.
These reasons are why a business needs to ensure they have the necessary procedures in place to support a business with managing particular employee situations correctly, empathetically and following the appropriate regulations.
How can this be achieved?
Monitor policies and procedures
Understand your internal processes and ensure your business has followed the necessary steps for overall feedback and continuous improvement. Look to have a visible process in place before dismissal.
Have your plan ready
Determine how you will manage their workload after they leave. If you intend to replace this person, be ready to commence the hiring process relatively soon after the person in question goes.
Anticipate the impending questions
Ensure you specifically know what you can offer in terms of severance, paying unused sick days, leave and any other benefits.
Schedule a meeting
Determine the best time to let the individual know. If this is in the office, plan to do it when fewer people are in the workplace.
Make it clear
Keep your conversation clear and to the point. Start with the news and be honest about the reasons for this decision, without giving too much detail.
Recover any property needed
Often employees will make a swift exit from the office. Ensure you plan to gather belongings like laptops, phones etc. and remember to terminate any access to business accounts and emails.
Share the transition with your team members
Avoid sharing too many details regarding the reasons for letting someone go. Instead, focus on what this decision means for the business and the future of your workforce.
The difference between laying someone off and letting someone go
When a business requests someone to leave due to a reshuffle and no fault of their own, it is a layoff. Letting someone go involves asking a person to leave due to performance or for not following business policies. Some of the principles of letting people go can apply to layoffs too.
The discussion mustn’t come as a shock
Ensure you have had several discussions regarding their performance before commencing with the final conversation. Unless it is in the circumstances of letting someone go due to a significant violation, the individual should have some previous feedback concerning their performance and the opportunity and support to improve. This information could be a written report or a targeted performance improvement plan that lists the expectations required to fulfil their position. Your business should consider developing a formal feedback protocol if one fails to exist.
Remember the legal implications of letting people go
Dependent on national employment laws, there may be circumstances for when you can and cannot let someone go. Ensure you understand your policies from a legal perspective and incorporate relevant employees into this area to ensure any decision-making or interactions are structured appropriately before moving forward with your plans.