Terminations are often a stressful situation, both for the terminated employee and for the individual responsible for conducting the termination. Listed below are some guidelines that could help diffuse volatile situations and make the process run more smoothly.
- Always plan the termination. Think it through.
- Always have two supervisors/managers present during the termination. The meeting should be cordial and professional but also attempt to accommodate the employee’s feelings and concerns. Regardless of whether the employee becomes angry or upset, do not resort to harsh words or language.
- If you feel the termination might become heated, contact security and discuss prior to the termination. If you don’t have a security director, obtain guidance from a company like Protus3 that has security professionals who have participated in hundreds of outplacements.
- If the employee is known to be highly volatile and potentially prone to violence, consider having security present and ensure you have an appropriate plan to respond to those concerns. Provide reason(s) for the termination. However, do not engage in a debate. The decision has been made and arguments should be avoided.
- Carefully choose the room to be used for the termination.
- When possible use a room with two access points.
- Remove or hide things that can be used as a weapon. Keep the room “clean” (sanitize).
- The setting should be private. Allow the employee to retain their dignity.
- Try to avoid Thursday and Friday as a day for the termination. Monday and Tuesday is better. Select a time during the day when there are fewer employees around.
- If offering a separation package, avoid a detailed review of the package at the termination meeting. The employee will likely remember little of that discussion. Do, however, tell the employee that the package is confidential and must not be discussed with others.
- If the termination goes as planned:
- Retrieve all company property i.e. keys, ID badge, monies, etc.
- Do not let the individual go back to his or her personal workspace but ascertain if the individual has personal belongings such as a purse or medications that you need to retrieve for them. Advise the individual all their personal property will be mailed/shipped to them.
- Do not let the individual leave the facility and come back into the facility.
- Walk the individual out of the facility and watch them leave the property but do it in a cordial way.
- Notify the proper facility managers of the termination so the individual can’t get back into the facility.
- Have the individual removed from the card access system immediately
- If the termination becomes heated, never challenge or argue with the employee.
- Advise the individual to leave the property. If they don’t comply, call 911.
- Do not challenge or argue.
- Report to HR and Safety/Security immediately.
- Be prepared to go into lock-down.
Plan. Protect. Prosper.
Protus3 specializes in security system design, security consulting, corporate investigations and other investigative services. Partner with Protus3 and we will examine each situation to identify threats and develop solutions for your best outcome.