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Preparing for End of Employment

Taking the time to effectively prepare yourself and your management team before initiating the termination process is the first step in safeguarding your company from legal action and financial losses. This course will help identify any potential repercussions and ensure that you have the answers to questions the employee might ask during the termination meeting.

Video Transcript

" So let's talk more about terminations and separations. Now, let's admit that this is not the sexiest subject to talk about. And frankly, most HR professionals really kind of groan when they hear training about this. So we'll kind of get through this as painlessly as possible, shall we? Now, when we talk about this subject, it's important to note just a few very simple things. Yes, terminating or separating somebody from your environment, it's a serious thing. We're moving a human resource from a series of tasks or responsibilities. But before we get to the point of figuring out what needs to happen, first what needs to happen last and what the process might be, I want you to also remember that terminating or separating a human resource, it's a big day, it's a big thing. You're removing their way of earning their living. And that's something not to be taken lightly. This decision to terminate or separate should be done upon some very simple things being met some criteria as it were being met. And I'll take you through those things. But remember, don't take this lightly at somebody's way of living. And they're going to have to learn a very hard lesson because of this act, we're going to have to give them one thing I can clear up right now, if you're in an at will state. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean what you think it does, at will simply means that you have as the employer the benefit of being able to act upon the information, you have to act upon the mitigating factors being met for causing a termination or separation, it just means you're capable of acting upon the decision to separate or terminate, but still, cause must be met. Now, let me tell you more about that. So now that we know that at well doesn't mean exactly what we think it does. The next thing to consider is, is making sure that you have cause for your termination or your separation, that would specifically mean documentation. Now, one thing an HR attorney is going to tell you is that in the event that you have to go to court, he's going to ask you a question that may send a cold sweat down your back, which is, well, you fired this guy, where's your documentation? Where are the write ups? Where are the records of conversation? Where are the text messages, where are the emails, all that documentation that led you to the termination or the separation act, that has to be firmly planted inside the employees file, so that way any person may be an HR lawyer may be a judge, maybe an arbitrator, they'll have ready access to what was necessary, but also what was part of the decision making process that brought you to terminating or separating an employee. So let's say that you've gotten past the documentation set, all your ducks are in a row. And now it's time to move forward with the termination of separation. Before you get down this pathway, remind yourself, this is a very final act. And you should give consideration over what steps should follow and making sure that dignity, the dignity of the human resources kept to an utmost maximum, because remember, this person is walking out of the building with a brand new reality. And we do not need to rub their faces and how harsh This is, they'll know it. Now, be very aware of what your region state and even federal laws are, you may be in a part of the country that requires somebody who give more than 48 hours notice before you terminate, or making sure that you have a paycheck ready in hand before you walk them out of the building. So it get to know your federal and state statutes, even your region, because based upon what township you might be in may give you a whole new set of rules to be considered of. Now in this meeting that you have few other details you'll need before you actually get down and sit down with the employee isn't want to make sure that their paycheck is in hand if possible. If not, you'll need a determinant amount of time to let them know when to expect it for that paycheck to be picked up. The other thing is is especially with traveling technicians, or even traveling sales professionals, sometimes they have company property, they may have a laptop, they may have a cell phone, they may have T shirts, or polos. One thing to consider is is that before you have this meeting, do your best calling that collateral ahead of time. It could be as simple as simply saying, you know what we need to update the software on that go ahead and bring your stuff in. Or it could be as arbitrary simply saying, you know what, we need to do an audit check. It's about that time of year to run inventory. There's a litany of reasons why you could call that inventory back in for any accredited reason. So be aware of that and be prepared as your meeting should be very clear, concise and to the point. So let's say for instance, that you granted this employee a personal loan. See personal loans with me is something I tend to smile about. Because if you've granted a personal loan to an employee, I hate to say this, but you can kiss that money goodbye. There is no state or federal statute in the United States of America that allows an employer to hold back wages. In the event that a personal loan has not been paid at the time of separation. The best thing you can do is take that person to small claims, and hope that the judges laugh too hard when you present your case. So now comes time for the meeting. And someone considering this is that you want to remember that this should be a dignified exchange. Have your documentation lined up, have any information needed necessary for unemployment benefits to be ready and in hand, be dignified, be straightforward and maintain professionalism at all times. Something to remember is this, this is not going to be easy for them. This shouldn't be easy for you. There are times when even I have to separate employees. And I'll tell you, I still lose sleep over it from time to time, not because of how I feel about it, it's that I understand the gravity of the situation. Any HR professional, any business owners found themselves in those shoes at time to time. So remember, this is an important act, and to treat it with dignity at all costs. So now that you've had your meeting, you're going to sit down and you're going to explain exactly what happened. You'll go through the basics of letting them know that this was based upon performance. And here's the reasons x and y, and on which date this became the predicating action. And finally, on x date or this timeframe, be specific, use the details of what you've documented to help tell the story as to why you've gotten to this point of termination, or separation. They're gonna ask questions, they may even be angry. And let me tell you don't get lost in it. You are the coolest and calmest resource in that entire room. You are more firm and more solid than the chairs you sit on. And you have to be you are defending the company in this action, simply making sure that this was the only result that could have come from a person's lack of performance or a lack of ability. So you'll want to make sure you pass them over the documentation, make sure you get your signatures in advance, but also coordinate with your service manager to ensure that their service logins, their point of entries to your software, your PSA and even your network have been turned off right before you walked in. Doing this inhibits an underperforming employee, acting in a natural moment of sending emails to somebody or taking information that didn't belong them in the first place. We're removing the options for them to act in anger. That's what this action is for. After you've given them the information and let them know that they are no longer an employee of yours. You'll want to make sure that you sit up, perhaps shake their hand and walk them out the door. guard them to the most closest resource you can find for the exit to your building. Don't parade them around the office, don't parade them by their supervisor, because chances are they may already know about what's going to happen. But the thing you can do in this point is to give them dignity and show them the courtesy of dignity on their way out the door. Once they've left the building, note their time of exit. That's going to be important in case you're called for that later on. Go back to your office and do the courtesy of sending your entire team a brief email. Simply letting your team know that this person is no longer with the company and we wish them the absolute best. And that's it. No for the discourse, no reasons no innuendo, and you need to make sure that in your next leadership meeting, that you share that sentiment with your leaders. At no point should fodder be given or fodder be allowed to be endorsed between managers, staff members about the reasons why we separated or for the the acts of innuendo to derive the reasons why we actually let somebody go. dignity is going to be the mainstay for your termination or separation from start to finish. "