Having a Termination Meeting for an Employee

by | Sep 14, 2022 | HR Policies & Procedures

It’s time to let an employee go. Whether it’s because they’re no longer a good fit for your team, or because their performance has declined, you need to make the tough decision and let that particular employee go. You might be worried about how you are going to do it. Will you be able to say goodbye and end the relationship on good terms? Or will you feel awkward and embarrassed? While it is an emotional moment, it will also be a positive one for your company. You won’t only be releasing that individual from their duties so they no longer have access to your company’s confidential information, but you will also be setting up a meeting with them later so they can look for another job within your industry. This article outlines everything you need to know about having an effective termination meeting with an employee.

What should go into a termination meeting?
First and foremost, make sure you are having a termination meeting, not a performance review. A performance review is when an employee meets their manager to discuss the performance of the employee during the time they were on the manager’s team. A termination meeting is intended for the manager and the employee only, and the manager decides to end the relationship with the employee. With that being said, you will want to make sure to include the following items in your termination meeting: – Remember, this is a meeting where you are planning to let that employee go. You can’t let yourself get emotional, but you also need to be able to get your thoughts together in an orderly fashion. – Review the employee’s performance over the past year, and end the meeting by summarizing our decision. Make sure to be clear and concise with your decision. You may also want to review the employee’s work history and the reasons you hired them in the first place. This information can be particularly helpful if you have hired multiple people in the past. Make sure to plan how you will notify the employee that they are no longer a part of your team. For example, you may have an employee who is responsible for a group of others within your company. You may want to make it clear that they are no longer a part of the group they were responsible for.

Set up a calendar reminder for the termination meeting
Depending on your company culture, you may want to set up a calendar reminder to remind yourself to have that termination meeting. Or, you may want to remind yourself by looking at the calendar on your phone. That way you won’t forget. If you want to set up a calendar reminder, make sure to choose a time that is convenient for both you and your employee. Even if it is in the middle of the day, you may want to put the meeting on for that evening so you both don’t forget. You can also choose a time that is when both of you are most likely to be available. For example, you may want to set the meeting for after normal work hours but before you both go home for the day. You may also want to set the meeting for when both of you have some free time after work.

Be aware of any work-related benefits your employee might be entitled to
From health insurance to sick days, it’s important to be aware of any benefits your employee may be entitled to. Let’s say your employee has a family member who requires medical care, or they have a condition that requires them to take frequent leave. It’s important to make sure you are aware of those benefits before you end the relationship. You can ask your employee the question “what would happen if we were to end this relationship?” This may help you both to be aware of any work-related benefits your employee is entitled to.

Do your research before the meeting
Before you have the termination meeting, you will want to do some research to make sure you cover all the bases. This research can be done on your own, or you can ask a colleague or an HR specialist to help you out. Some of the topics you will want to cover are: What has your employee’s performance been like over the past year? Have they been hitting all the necessary deadlines? What have their attendance and availability been like? What have their work quality and quantity been like? What have their work-related interactions with others in your company been like? What have their relationships with their coworkers been like? What have their interactions with their managers or other leaders been like? What have their interactions with their co-workers been like? What are your employee’s communication skills and problem-solving abilities like? What have their interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with others be like? What have their professional (departmental) skills and abilities to do their job been like?

Ask yourself why you are having the meeting
Before you even think about having the termination meeting with your employee, you need to ask yourself why you are even having the meeting. You may be thinking, “we are in the middle of performance reviews, so I should be having the termination meeting at the end of the performance review process.” While that is true, you need to take time to prepare yourself for the meeting. You need to let yourself be emotionally ready for the situation. You also need to prepare yourself for what will happen afterward. At the end of the meeting, you need to ask yourself why you are making the decision you just made. This can help you to be more emotionally prepared to ask yourself these questions as you decide whether or not to make the decision.

Don’t make it awkward for either party
When you are meeting with your employee, you want to make it as comfortable for them as possible. Even if you have had many meetings with them before, the best way to make it comfortable for them is to follow the advice above. Make sure to have refreshments available, and make sure to take your time and make sure you cover all the bases. You want to make the meeting as comfortable as possible. You want to make sure to follow up on all the topics listed above and make sure to make it clear to your employee what their future with your company will look like after the meeting.

Having a termination meeting with an employee can be an extremely difficult thing to do. That’s where this guide comes in. If you follow the tips outlined above, you will be able to keep both yourself and your employee from feeling awkward or embarrassed.

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