Strategies For Terminating Employees
Wayland recommends having an intelligent but fluid strategy here. Different situations will require different levels of tact.
“I think it’s helpful if you have some procedures in place (that) everybody follows them,” he says. “But I think the more specific you try to make it, the more problematic it can become.”
He says the one thing you should always do is be honest. Inconsistency can raise questions. So can poor wording. A layoff is different than a termination, and Wayland says you should call each by its proper name.
“If you aren’t laying them off due to a lack of work, the fact that you call it a layoff doesn’t really make it a layoff,” he says.
All of this comes into play when a former employee files a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Wayland says “more than 75 percent” of employment lawsuits come from a separation of employment. Hauge recommends contacting legal counsel before terminating any employee, but says that can only minimize, not eliminate the risk of a lawsuit.
Termination is such an emotional situation, he says, you have to be aware of the possibility.
It should come as no surprise that angry and embarrassed employees are more likely to file charges or make legal claims against their former employers, he adds.
Both Hauge and Wayland believe an honest, planned and well-documented interaction with an employee is the best way to prevent and these situations.
Adds Wayland, “If a termination is investigated, are you going to be in the position to articulate with legitimate reasons why you did what you did?”
This is the second of Successful Dealer’s two-part series on making staffing changes. For the first installment on adding staff, please CLICK HERE.