Best Practices in Handling Employee Termination
There's nothing enjoyable about firing employees. That said, it sometimes must be done. The key is in handling the employee termination process in a way that's both compassionate and legally sound.
Curious about best practices for terminating an employee? Then read on. Here's everything you need to know about terminating private staff.
Do It In-Person
Our first piece of advice is to do it in person. This employee has likely done some good work for you, even if they did do something that justifies termination. They deserve the dignity of a face-to-face encounter.
Explain to them directly and explicitly that you have decided to terminate their employment with you. Don't beat around the bush or try to let them down easily. At the same time, don't criticize them.
It's vital that you do this in a professional manner, so try to keep your cool as much as possible. Remember: this is your house but their workplace.
Handle the Problem Sooner Rather Than Later
Has a problem cropped up that's got you thinking about terminating an employee? If so, you should work to handle it sooner rather than later. You never know, you might be able to come up with a more amicable solution than termination.
Explain to the employee what the problem is and then give them a chance to address it with you. There might be an understandable reason for the problem arising. Also, be sure to discuss the problem with the hiring agency that provided the employee initially.
Don't let it linger for any more than a few days. The longer it lingers, the more convoluted it becomes and the more difficult it gets to understand what the truth really is. In essence, nip it in the bud.
Our next tip is to be civil. You don't have to yell at or insult the employee. In fact, yelling at or insulting an employee could even leave you vulnerable to a lawsuit.
Instead, you should speak to the employee in a calm and collected manner. Have a plan for what you're going to say, be ready to answer questions, and direct the conversation so that it doesn't drag on for too long.
The more concise and direct you are in delivering the bad news, the less risk there will be for pushback. If you can manage to avoid pushback, you can, more or less, avoid blowups.
Give Some Indication That Termination Is Coming
Another thing we advise is to give some indication that termination is coming. Prepare your household employee for the idea that they might lose their employment. This way, they won't be shocked when the announcement of the termination is made in person.
See, some individuals lash out in response to news such as this. They might even become physically violent. By giving them time to prepare, however, you might be able to mitigate such a reaction.
How do you go about doing this? One of the best ways is to send an email or text telling the employee that you want to meet with them to discuss something. Most individuals will see an official meeting as a potentially negative one and will brace themselves for the possibility that they're going to be fired.
Answer Questions Graciously
Odds are, the person you're firing from your private staff will have questions to ask about their termination. You're strongly advised to answer the questions graciously.
Don't be abrupt or dismissive. Don't get angry. Be honest, straightforward, and transparent.
Terminating an employee is an unpleasant situation as it is. There's no reason to make it even more unpleasant by responding in a hostile manner. It's human nature for a person to ask questions after they've been fired, and so, to treat that person as a human being, you should provide them with the dignity of a legitimate answer.
Prepare a Termination Document
It's also important to prepare a termination document. This is a document highlighting the reasons for termination as well as how the termination will take place. This should include components such as the employee's last day, where they should return relevant items (such as keys, for instance), the date of their last paycheck, and the like.
In essence, this document needs to cover all of the bases. It alone should get the full message across without you needing to interject anything verbally (though it's still important to discuss the termination in person).
Be sure to hand a copy to the employee you're terminating while also keeping a copy for your own records. This document will show that you're running a company within the bounds of the law, and could protect you from lawsuits in the future.
Restrict Their Access
Once the employee has been terminated, you should restrict their access to your property. This includes not only your physical property but your digital property as well.
Be sure to get your key back from them. Make sure to change your passwords or nullify their passwords. Do whatever is necessary to exclude them from your home/organization.
Some employees can become vindictive after they're fired. Therefore, as a standard component of business management, you need to restrict their access.
Appropriate Employee Termination Is a Key Component of Proper Business Management
In order to manage your business properly, you must facilitate appropriate employee termination. Just use these best practices to guide you and your employee termination process should be sound.
Looking to hire new employees? If so, we here at Private Staff Group might be able to help you. We help connect individuals with various in-house staff members, including chefs, maids, nannies, and more.
Contact us now to discuss your needs!