Does Your Startup Have a Firing Procedure?

By Matthew King | Management and Operations

Oct 08
Firing Procedure for Firing an Employee

Firing an employee is one of the most challenging things a business owner can do; however, for the sake of your business and your employees, it’s also among the most important. Having set firing practices and procedures that you can rely on will help you get through this difficult task while helping to protect the employee and your business. Here are three firing practices you should follow to protect yourself and your business.

Do You Have a Face-to-Face Meeting Before Firing Employees?

Firing someone doesn’t mean that you disregard their feelings or basic human dignity. When you fire someone, don’t do it via email, text, or even phone. Instead, do it face to face. Be prepared to explain why you are firing that person. Don’t do what Dr. Susan Turkel did when she tried to end the employment of her colleague; if you have a problem with an employee, speak with them face to face. Instead, Dr. Turkel fired her colleague by having an administrator and two security guards walk him off a university campus, and a lawsuit is now pending. This lawsuit likely could have been avoided or at least mitigated if Dr. Turkel had the courtesy to talk with the employee in question with a face-to-face meeting.

Do You End Termination Meetings Negatively?

When you fire someone, it is vital for you and for the outgoing employee that you make the meeting as positive as you can. The person in question deserves to know what they did wrong, but, if, at all possible, you should discuss their various strengths and make recommendations about what position may be better to them. Offer words of encouragement. Remind them that virtually everyone is fired from a job at some point, and this does not have to be the defining moment of their career. If you can end the firing on a positive note, it creates a better atmosphere for your employee and lowers the chances of legal complications after a termination.

Do You Allow Former Employees to Access Their Work Area After Being Fired?

Firings can be traumatic events and often involve the forced separation of an employee from the people they have come to know for years. They may be very upset, crying, and not in a state to see anyone; however, the person may need to access their work area and collect personal possessions. If at all possible, offer the employee the chance to collect their property after hours or over a weekend. Or better yet, mail them their personal effects. Keep in mind that you must allow someone access to their things and that legal issues can arise if you fail to do so.

Firing can be complicated, particularly for a start-up that is just getting on its feet. Having the right termination procedures in place can ease the burden on management and the employee. It can also reduce the risk of legal complications and ensure that an emotionally difficult process is handled with dignity and courtesy.



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About the Author

Matthew King is the owner of the Startup Forums, Alkries LLC, and co-owner at TR King Insurance Marketing. Partner at Independent Life Insurance Agent Association, Medicare Training 101, and Final Expense 101. When he's not creating content about running successful businesses here. He's most likely developing processes, diving into SEO, or gaming with his friends and wife.

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