How to Positively Communicate Employee Termination

Communicating a decision to terminate an employee is one of the hated and stressful functions of employers. It may appear easy for them, however, they struggle with finding the right words to say in order not to break the spirit and motivation of the employee.

It is inevitable that negative ideas are associated with employee termination. Notwithstanding such ideas, an employer must handle employee termination with grace, positivity, and utmost professionalism.

How to Positively Convey the News to the Employee

In conveying the management’s decision to terminate an employee, there are no perfect manuals to follow. It all depends on the standpoint and disposition of the employers and how they value their employees. You may consider the following points:

Consider the channels of communication.

In dealing with employment termination, sending out a termination letter to the employee is not enough. The letter only serves as the official notification and document embodying the effectivity date and details pertaining to the termination. In addition to this, employers are required to convey the news personally to the employee. Let the employee hear the news directly from you rather than from a piece of paper or worse from his or her co-worker.

Schedule a meeting with the employee.

Choose a schedule that is convenient for the employee. As much as possible make him or her feel at ease and relax all throughout the process. Record and appropriately document the meeting minutes.

Set proper expectations.

At the outset of the meeting, directly advise the employee of his or her termination. Obviously, the employee will consider it as a bad news. However, what is important is that he or she knows where he or she stands and what to expect.

Convey to the employee the termination details clearly.

In conveying news about termination, clarity is very significant. It will be more frustrating and disappointing on the employee’s end if they do not know the clear reasons for the dismissal and what it is that they can expect.

Moreover, let him or her understand the reasons behind the termination notice or letter and how the management arrived at such decision. Anticipate that the employee will ask questions. Be prepared to answer these questions clearly, concisely, and positively. Never play the blame card. Instead, make them understand the consequences of his or her actions especially in cases of misbehavior.

Relay to the employee what will happen next.

Talk about the benefits and payment terms if there are any. If the cause of the employee’s dismissal was not misbehavior but due to reasons beyond his or her control, share the good news to the employee. You can talk about the reference letters that you are willing to write for them, the benefits package, the separation pay, and any other assistance that the company is willing to offer.

And lastly, share words of wisdom and inspiration. Inspire the employee to continue his or her goals and aspirations and that there are more opportunities and blessings coming their way. To seal your discussion, you have to extend your heartfelt gratitude for his or her service and contributions to the company.