Issue No. 7 - October/November 2002
by Mark Traeger
As stressful a situation as staff member terminations can be, there are ways to conduct these processes sensitively and with dignity to all parties.
TMP Worldwide believe that organisations that are genuine about the welfare of their employees during this time can implement strategies that will assist in minimising emotional and physical cost to all concerned.
Doing this helps the outplaced individual to maintain self-esteem and regain employment elsewhere. It can reduce the likelihood of misunderstanding between management and the individual and minimise or eliminate negative effects that one person’s termination can have on his/her work group. The company displays a public image as a fair employer and sensitive manager of human resources. This reduces the need for either party to resort to litigation.
Managers or supervisors are responsible for the smooth functioning of a business including the wellbeing of staff. The separation interview is key to this process. Approaching this interview in a professional, businesslike manner is a crucial part of the organisational change process.
There are some basic principles to follow in delivering the message:
The separation interview is the responsibility of the manager or supervisor to whom the staff member reports and must own the process.
They must respect the dignity of the staff member and clarify the staff member's position at the interview.
Preparation is fundamental to ensure that the interview is conducted professionally.
Consult with the Human Resources Department. Obtain all pertinent employment conditions, entitlements and staff member work record, and learn of any health concerns which the separation may aggravate. This important preparation can help avoid pain later, which may arise from a poor interview process, misinformation and missing information.
Document the termination details. Check with the HR Department to ensure the correct legal, po...