Orange County Staffing News
Terminations – Best Practices
Having to let a virtual assistant go, indeed having to let any employee go, is a task few of us relish. It is often fraught with anxiety and sometimes produces problems that oftentimes can be avoided.
The very nature of having to let someone go can cause the person tasked with that action to take shortcuts and or think less rationally than usual.
With that in mind, we make the following recommendations.
- Have a defined best practice process for terminations and follow them on all terminations.
- Avoid surprises, surprise terminations often create the biggest negative reaction and the most problems overall.
Terminations may need to be made for many reasons, budget changes and poor performance being the two most common.
Poor Performance Terminations
In general, we recommend you give staff a month’s notice rather than abruptly terminating them. Also, it is important to have given them specific feedback that their performance is not up to the standard you require, prior to termination. Have detailed what specifically is wrong with their performance, what they need to do to meet standards along with a reasonable time period to do so. If that is done, the employee should not be surprised when they are finally terminated.
It should be noted that disgruntled employees can cause a lot of disruption that can last for months. It can affect other staff and cause the company’s online reputation to be negatively affected. In most cases, this kind of negative reaction can be traced back to poorly handled terminations.
Specific details of the performance gap should have been communicated prior to termination, therefore the actual termination notice should say no more than, “your performance is not up to the standard we require”. It should include notice periods, detail any work requirements during the notice period and explicitly say so if there are none.
Budget Change Terminations
In general, we recommend you give staff a month’s notice rather than abruptly terminating them.
The notice period in and of itself helps to mitigate the surprise factor. One of the more traumatic things that can happen to a person in life is to be suddenly terminated without pay during a notice period providing an opportunity to find another job.
Be a good person and do no harm. Do not be the person causing that kind of distress in another if there is any way to avoid it.
Beyond that, these are the simplest to handle. The termination notice should simply say, “we regret to inform you that due to budget changes, we are no longer able to keep you on”. It should include notice periods, detail any work requirements during the notice period and explicitly say so if there are none.
We Have Considerable Experience in Handling Terminations
If you are considering a termination where you have further questions and or a situation where the above recommendations do not exactly apply, please call us at (949) 505-9026 and we will be happy to discuss your specific situation and advise as we can.