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Terminating employees require both soft and technical skills to minimize harm, and avoid unnecessary cost on labor case.

I came across this article about Five Mistakes Managers Make When Terminating Employees, by E. Michelle Bohreer and Todd J. Zucker, and it reminded me of my post about integrity. The complexity of the work of a manager can push us in the realm of gray where our conviction of appropriate or not will be challenged.
And the first of the 5 common errors has something to do with… integrity

Withholding the real reason for termination because line managers wants to be nice.

When it’s time to terminate an employee, the termination meeting often include managers with whom the employee interacted on a friendly basis during the term of employment. Such managers might be inclined not to hold the employee accountable for the misconduct that prompted the termination, or they simply might not want to cause the employee unnecessary embarrassment or emotional upset. However, it is important NOT to sugarcoat the reason for firing.

Executives who subscribed to above practice should understand its effect to the organization.
Ex-employees whose termination was sugarcoated, in some cases, asked to resign with financial assistance extended, sends a wrong signal to the rest of the employees.
As the news spread, it’ll demoralize good employees and encourage the bad ones to venture in similar behavior. In the long run, the organization will likely lose good employees and retain the bad ones.
The no non-sense managers, likewise, will be hard pressed to implement company policies.
The other four mistakes can be attributed to either ignorance, lack of due diligence, negligence or deliberate act to violate employee right to its wages.

  • Failing to follow the employer’s written policies and procedures.
  • Failing to document an employee’s misconduct in a personnel file.
  • Withholding payment of employee wages.
  • Failing to remind departing employees of confidentiality and/or non-compete obligations.

These mistakes are likely due to or combination of the attitude of a manager, lack of soft and technical skills needed to handle employee termination. Add to that, the assistance being extended by the chief of human capital division, or the head of labor relations also matters.
If above mistakes are avoided, employees will heed on the company rules.

Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent”— peoples will curse him and nations denounce him. Prov. 24:24 (NIV)


Is there other contributory factors why such errors happen? And how can we avoid them? Let’s discuss!


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