Termination Resources

Terminating employees is an unfortunate, but important function of talent management. HR professionals are often experts at employment law and understand the rules and regulations surrounding the hiring and termination of employees. Unfortunately, that knowledge does not often extend to departmental managers, who are often the people most involved in the process.

Successful organizations should do everything they can to build strong management competencies and knowledge of best practices throughout their entire organization. This can sometimes be achieved through an integration of HR knowledge and practices throughout the organization; in practical terms, this can be implemented through frequent and active HR participation in managerial meetings and through the development of strong HR policies and staff development programs.

In addition, greater quantification of labor needs can lead to more efficient resourcing, which can then lead to less need for layoffs and terminations. Properly mapping out labor needs according to anticipated demand for products and services can help map out long term workforce and talent needs. Too often, poor planning or overly aggressive expansion can be attributed to failures of internal communication between senior management and HR and the line level.

Staff termination is one of the functions of the HR department. While it is not a particularly pleasant aspect of the work, it is a necessary one. When handled properly with sufficient tact and support, the termination experience can be a less stressful one for both parties. In addition, there should be proper guidelines to follow to ensure that the interests of both the employee and organization are sufficiently protected.

There are basically two forms of termination-voluntary and involuntary. In the former, which includes resignation and retirement, the employee will give advance notice of his intention to leave the organization. This is to let the organization have sufficient time to make alternative arrangements to cover for his departure, either through internal staff movements or new hiring. In the event of a breach of contract by the employer, the employee is not obliged to give any advance notice.

For involuntary termination, which includes dismissal and retrenchment, the employer may not be obliged to provide any advance notice, depending on the jurisdiction. Depending on the circumstances, termination could be immediate with no severance pay. There could be several reasons for dismissal, such as an unsatisfactory probationary-period performance, breach of contract by the employee or misconduct by the employee. Regardless of the reasons behind a dismissal, there is a set of legal and ethical guidelines governing the practice. Legalities aside, why and how an employee is dismissed will send a signal to the remaining employees about the working culture of the organization. Hence, it is recommended that the procedure be kept professional, ethical and sensitive to not only the germane legal parameters, but also to the entire corporate culture-especially in terms of the ramifications of the termination.

On the employer side, great care must be taken to avoid "wrongful termination" (or "wrongful dismissal"), as this can not only be financially very costly, but also redound to the discredit of the company, with associated damage to the reputation and internal dynamics of the enterprise.

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