Picture this. Eight years ago you hired an extremely talented, energetic
individual who quickly became a source of enthusiasm and expertise in
your workplace. A friend to everyone, this star employee excelled in
their work, acing every performance review; until recently.
About six months ago, this individual developed a snooty attitude with
management. Regular absences and tardiness soon followed. Projects
weren’t completed when they needed to be. Those that got done were
usually done poorly. You put the employee on a progressive discipline
plan in accordance with your policy, hoping to see a return to their
longtime stellar performance, but the employee showed no interest in
It may be time to terminate employment, but because this employee is so
well liked by their coworkers, you need to be prepared for the
ramifications of letting them go.
Prepare for the fallout of terminating the individual. The employee has
built up a lot of relationship capital. You should expect the employees
closest to this person to be very upset. Some of them might even want to
quit. You’ll need to meet with these individuals, listen to their
concerns, and try to help them adjust to the abrupt change.
While this employee isn’t in management, colleagues may go to them for
mentoring, guidance, and direction. You can expect some of these
colleagues to be a tad aimless following the termination. Keep your eyes
open for employees who look a little lost and offer to help them with
whatever they need.
Third, because this employee was once very good at their job—and may
still appear to be so—people in the office might fear that they’ll be
let go next. You can reassure them without violating confidentiality by
being openly appreciative of everyone’s contributions. Even small words
of encouragement said here and there can put people’s minds to rest.
If you suspect that the fallout of the termination could be very
disruptive to business operations, and you haven’t terminated others for
the same cause, you may want to consider alternatives to termination,
such as reassignment to a different manager.
But if you’ve decided termination is the best path forward, you’ll need
to prepare for the likely consequences. Don’t wait to see what happens.
Take proactive steps to ensure that upset employees are heard, aimless
employees are guided, and anxious employees are reassured. The road will
be rocky, but you can help smooth the way by addressing these issues
before they significantly disrupt your workflow.
Terminating a long-time employee can be a big change for any
organization, but dealing with the change in an effective and
responsible manner will lessen the impact of the decision. Have
questions about how to properly terminate an employee at your
organization? An entire year of HR Support Center
is cheaper than one hour of a typical attorney’s time. Ask
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Source: HR Support Center