Such terminations can be very expensive and damaging to the organization if not managed properly.
The key to managing the risk of expensive and damaging terminations is not too dissimilar to managing certain insurance risks—it’s about prevention and process.
The best prevention is to have a solid foundation in human resource practices:
- Enter into easy to understand written contracts with all of your employees before they start, which would include, in the context of this discussion, a defined job description and expectations, a probationary period and termination provisions, including a defined notice period in the event of a termination without cause. It is also very important that your employment contracts comply with the applicable employment standards legislation to ensure their enforceability.
- Have a clear and easy to understand employee Policies and Procedures Manual (including a performance improvement policy), require your employees to read it and understand it, and make it easily accessible to all. Where possible, the policy manual should be incorporated into the employment contract by reference.
- Apply all polices in a fair and consistent manner to all staff. This also helps with keeping up staff morale and avoids condoning inappropriate behavior, which may come back to haunt the firm at a later date.
- Perform regular performance appraisals, refer back to expectations set out in the contract, and, in particular, consult and interact with the staff in question on matters which may require improvement.
- Have a defined process for handling poor performance and inappropriate behavior. This process should include meeting with staff in question, defining the corrective action to take, clearly outlining the future expectations, offering assistance for improvement, outlining the consequences for non-improvement and documenting your efforts. Establishing a paper trail will act as support for your corrective action, up to and including termination. Also, the act of documenting will force you to confront the issue(s) and deal with the consequences of the actions you are contemplating. That being said, build flexibility into policies and avoid lockstep procedures and hard to follow policies.
- Utilize Corporate Policies when drafting polices and procedures that comply with applicable laws.
Utilize HRdownloads’ Guides to Termination to easy integrate these processes into your organization and have the tools and documents already built for you!
A Guide to Effective Terminations
Terminations for Cause
Progressive Discipline Process
Terminating the Poor Performer
Reduction in Workforce
The Termination Meeting
After the Termination Meeting
Conducting Exit Interviews
Providing Proper Severance Packages
Things to Avoid
Termination and the Law
Current Canadian Termination Legislation*
List of Included Tools, Templates, Letters, and Policies
1. Acceptance of Resignation Letter
2. Announcement of Employee Resignation Letter
3. Announcement of Employee Retirement Letter
4. Disciplinary Action Form
5. Disciplinary Action Template
6. Employee Departure Notification
7. Exit Interview Form
8. Full and Final Release - Ontario
9. Last Chance Agreement
10. Layoffs & Closure Policy
11. Management Severance Payout Calculator
12. Notice of Disciplinary Action - Verbal Warning
13. Notice of Disciplinary Action - Written Warning
14. Notice of Indefinite Layoff
15. Notice of Layoff Template
16. Notice of Temporary Layoff
17. Performance Improvement Plan
18. Permanent Layoff Economic Conditions
19. Progressive Discipline Policy
20. Progressive Discipline Template
21. Termination Checklist
22. Termination Letter - Contract Employee
23. Termination Letter with Salary Continuance Provisions
24. Termination Letter with Working Notice
25. Termination Not For Cause + Full Final Release - Ontario
26. Termination Not For Cause Letter
27. Termination of Employment Elimination of Position
28. Termination of Employment Policy
29. Termination of LTD
30. Termination of Probationary Employee
31. Termination of STD
32. Termination Pay Policy
33. Termination Power Point
34. Turnover Cost Calculator
35. Unauthorized Absence Job Abandonment