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Navigating the difficult world of employee termination

Posted on October 31st, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

In a perfect world, all employees would work hard, respect the rules and produce results. However, as every HR administration professional can attest, this workplace utopia does not exist. After repeated efforts to refocus or re-motivate a problem worker, sometimes an individual's employment must simply be terminated. While this situation is never pleasant, firing an employee is a reality in the business world.

Whether they are temporary workers, contract workers, part-time helpers or full-time, salaried employees, professionals deserve respect and understanding during this difficult time. In some cases, HR staff can spin the decision to terminate a worker as a positive. For example, if an employee is visibly unhappy at work, cutting ties with the company allows for a fresh start.

If an impending termination is a result of a violation of company policy or the law, employers should avoid jumping to conclusions, according to BLR.

"You should never rush to judgment before getting all of the facts," says the company. "This is true even when an employee is apparently caught red-handed. If you feel you must, then go ahead and suspend the employee, subject to discharge pending further investigation."

Employers must also remember that the process of firing someone can be an emotional situation, so remaining calm, standing ground but also being understanding will be beneficial actions to take during termination discussions. 

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