Successful Exit Strategies for Disgruntled Employees

Terminating an employee is tough and can be emotional for both the employee being terminated and the manager performing the termination. When you suspect an employee may be disgruntled or have a strong reaction to the separation, the stakes are even higher. Managers and employers need to ensure the safety of all employees. The best way to properly prepare your managers for any termination is to provide adequate training. Require any manager performing terminations to participate in the training. There are many best practices around the proper way to terminate an employee, but there are several extra things to keep in mind should the situation escalate to a hostile one. Consider the following tips for handling potentially disgruntled employees and cover them during your manager training. Managers should feel prepared for any situation that may arise during the termination process.

5 Tips for Terminating a Disgruntled Employees

TIP 1: Select a safe location to perform the termination.

Find a private area that is near a building exit. Additionally, pay attention to where you place yourself in the room. Never allow the employee to come between you and the door. You do not want anything blocking your way should you need to leave.

TIP 2: If the employee has a history of violence or if you suspect the situation may get out of control, notify the local authorities

Let the police know the date and time the termination will take place. They can arrange to be on site to deescalate the issue if necessary.

TIP 3: Evaluate whether the termination should occur over the phone or in person.

Whenever possible, perform a termination face-to-face. However, if the situation is one that can become violent, you may wish to consider a phone conversation. Make sure you can recover any company property or equipment when performing a termination via the phone.

TIP 4: Always include another person in the termination process.

This is a best practice for all terminations, but especially when there is potential for a hostile reaction. It is best to include a member of your HR team. Your HR team will guide you through the process to make sure the termination is compliant with employment law.

TIP 5: Communicate the termination to all necessary individuals immediately following the termination meeting.

This may include security, your receptionist, IT or any other individual that can notify you if the terminated employee tries to come back onto company property.

These tips, in addition to general training on a compliant termination process, will prepare your managers for a wide range of outcomes from the termination process.

For more information on termination best practices, disgruntled employees or other HR topics and resources, contact Tandem HR today at 630.928.0510 or

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