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The Right Way to Terminate a Long Term Employee of your Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
Terminating an employee is never easy, especially if they have worked for you for a long time. There is a list of steps and best practices you can follow, along with a list of things to avoid that can help make the process easier for all involved.
How to effectively terminate an employee
Here is a list of steps you can take when terminating an employee:
Start by creating a transition plan: Identify the day and time you will have the termination meeting. Be sure to consider your company interests and what will work best for you. You can review your organization chart to start anticipating an internal replacement or draft the job posting to help you list the job as soon as appropriate.
Show your plan to others. Have others review your reasoning for terminating the employee and be sure to have them check for any wording or rationale that suggests anything other than the true reason for their termination.
Take it step by step. Thoroughly plan the way you plan to terminate the employee and follow your plan closely in its delivery. Here is a general succession of events you can use:
Get to the point- Avoid small talk and tell the person right away what the meeting is about.
Break the bad news- Explain why you have made the decision to terminate them from their position. While it is important to be direct, remember to treat the person in the way that you would want to be treated in a similar position.
Listen to what they have to say- By listening to the person, you can better anticipate their feelings, which can help you finish the rest of the meeting more effectively.
Review important information- Provide details about next steps for the terminated employee and be sure to prepare ahead of time so you have everything you need. It is not appropriate to follow up on anything after the meeting.
Conclude the meeting- When you have discussed all important matters, conclude the meeting, shake their hand, and wish them the best.
What to avoid when terminating an employee
Here is a list of things to avoid doing and saying to help improve the process of terminating an employee:
Avoid saying “This is really hard for me”
Be sure to always maintain a professional tone and remember that it is much worse for them than it is for you. Avoid apologizing or assuming blame. Saying “I’m sorry this is happening,” is only appropriate if you are laying off an employee or downsizing for reasons the business or employee couldn’t control.
Avoid saying “Let’s discuss that”
Since their termination should come as no surprise and you have already discussed the situation with them repeatedly, there is nothing left to discuss.
The employee who has just been terminated might try to offer ways to reverse the situation. Don’t allow this conversation to progress. You have already made your decision and have many reasons for it. Let them know your decision is final and move on with the rest of the meeting.
Don’t discuss personality traits
Bringing traits into the conversation doesn’t help the situation and might cause problems if the employee is in a protected class.
Tips to use the next time you have to terminate an employee
Here is a list of tips to help your termination meeting go smoothly:
Always have someone with you when you terminate an employee. They can help serve as a witness and can help protect you against accusations of harassment or discrimination. The second person is typically a member of the HR department, as they can help provide information about pay, benefits, and other related information.
Take notes during the termination meeting. You can delegate this to the other person in the room to help you stay focused and follow the script.
One is the biggest problems with termination meetings is that they take longer than necessary. Once you make the decision to let the employee go, be direct and concise with your message and be sure to avoid giving any sort of hope that things still have a chance of working out.
It is important to conduct terminations in a way that treats every employee equally and fairly. Having a standard termination process can help you avoid wrongful termination or discrimination claims.
What to do after terminating an employee
Here is a list of things you can to do minimize the disruption of an employee termination for your rehab center:
Hold a meeting: By reminding your current staff members about the rules and expectations of the company, you can help prevent future terminations.
Post the job listing: Once the employee has been terminated, you can reassign a few tasks to other members of staff until a replacement has been found. Try to hire a replacement for the terminated employee as soon as possible.
Strengthen the current team: You can hold team events or excursions to restrengthen the team and boost morale.
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