When an economy or the business premises is tarnishing south, the most effective and quickest way an organization can minimize its costs is by laying off some of its employees. An employee layoff denotes discontinuation of an employee’s contract against his or her own will. The process of terminating an employee is unavoidably difficult task to most managers and normally imposes some pain on the terminated employee. Nonetheless, employee layoff is an essential part of business operations and should be done promptly when the need arises so as to preserve the health of the business. The manager should however behave in a justified, ethical and legal manner when terminating employees. This paper addresses the steps to consider when terminating an employee, ways in which a manager can cope with negative emotion after an employee termination and the compensation given to terminated employee. A table will also be included to illustrate the disbursement of compensation between two laid off employees.
Describe a step-by-step process of conducting the dismissal meeting
Although at times, firing a worker is a necessary measure, it is not an easy task for most managers. Despite this challenge, this exercise can be conducted successfully without realization of the tension that is associated with it, as well as safeguards the dignity of the laid off employee. The manager should also carry out some groundwork research necessary to document and justify his actions. Before firing an employee, it is necessary to call for a dismissal meeting with the required parties present so that there is face-to-face communication (Abraham & Hannson, 1995). The meeting should be held in a rather secluded and quiet place where there is no interruption or earshot by other employees. A number of steps have been proposed that can help the manager to execute this task without escalating hostilities.
First, the manager should offer adequate reasons for the employee’s termination. By carrying out this step, the manager will be alleviating the unnecessary feuds in which an employee sues his ex-employer. Normally, most employees sue their ex-employers mainly because they seek to know the reasons behind their termination and an opportunity to share their side of the story (Rudner, 2006). The employer has the duty to offer a detailed and reasonable explanation. Thereafter, the manager must offer a listening ear to the interpretation presented by the employee in question. Although the manager might have witnessed an employee’s misconduct, it is ethical that he allows the employee to have his say.
Additionally, despite the fact that the manager might give the employee an opportunity to share his views, the manager should make it clear to the dismissed employee that his decision is final. The employer should not open room for negotiations since the laid off employee is likely to have false hopes. The employee should be made to understand that all alternatives have been considered and all the other managers have come to a termination conclusion. This will help the manager conducting the meeting to remain cool and have everything under control (Rudner, 2006). In addition, the manager must assess the benefits. The manager can decide whether to continue providing life insurance policy, separation pay and vacation pay that they initially provided. The manager has the obligation of preparing the fired employee’s paycheck in time to ease off cases of bad blood between the employer and the immediate employee.
Most importantly, the manager must provide an explanation for his job preference policy. Here, the manager should inform the dismissed employee what his policy entails. A good example is when the manager documents aspects such as dates of employment, job title and salary history. In some states, the manager is expected to provide a service letter. After the manager has addressed this step, he can now collect the company’s properties from the employee. These properties are things that are owned by the company and may include any keys, company credit cards, cell phones or any other property owned by the company. The manager can collect these properties after the employee’s immediate dismissal or request the dismissed employee to hand them over at a later specified date (Rudner, 2006).
Propose three (3) ways that a manager can cope with any negative emotions that may a company an employee layoff
When managers handle the task of laying off an employee successfully without any commotions or biasness, most of these managers are often left with negative emotions resulting from the employee’s termination. This phenomenon takes center stage particularly when there is a solid work association between the manager and the immediate employee, and this often gets to the nerves of most managers. One way that a manager can ease the pain of laying off an employee is to offer that employee a generous severance package that can cater for economic benefits while at the same time reflecting the manager’s understanding of the termination impact and compassion. Another layoff trends adopted by most companies is to provide less severance payments after an employee signs a liability release (Ginsburg, 2010).
In line with this, it has been proposed that the manager can extend his cordial relationship with the immediate employee by helping them secure a new job. The manager can use his managerial position in companies he identifies with to look for hiring vacancies so that he can recommend the terminated employee (Ginsburg, 2010). Besides, the company can offer career counseling to the former employee as a gesture of appreciation. Additionally, the manager can offer on-site training and show employees how they can ace their interviews. This act will promote loyalty, not only for the remaining employees but also those in the process of being laid off.
Subsequently, psychologists state that losing a job can be translated as losing a close relative or friend. Employment consultants also argue that laid off employees experience stages of grieving similar to those experienced when one lose a loved one. Employees who have just lost their jobs experience waves of emotions running from shock, anger, bargaining, denial and depression before they finally accept the reality. Therefore, another way of assisting a laid off employee is by recommending and paying for their psychological counseling.
Determine the compensation that the fictitious company may provide to the separated employee
Laid off employees should not go home empty-handed; most of them benefit from severance pay. The severance pay normally offered by employers come in handy to help pay for the bill while still looking for a new employment. The criteria used to determine the amount of severance pay depend on job elimination, lay offs or mutual agreement between the two parties. Severance pay depends on the number of years the laid employee worked, the least being period being two weeks (Heathfield, 2009).
The amount and extent of severance pay could be bigger if the affected employee was an executive. Besides the seniors’ employment, severance payment relies on their contract. Moreover, severance compensation can be in the form of extended packages in the form of housing and health benefits. Severance pay is should be seen as a gesture of appreciation towards the terminated employee. The terminated employee uses the severance pay while looking for another job and to meet his daily needs (Heathfield, 2009). Since the causes of retrenchment could be external and unintended, severance pay comes in handy.
The table below illustrates how two employees were compensated after being laid off from the company. In this case, an executive and a senior employee were the casualties of this unfortunate exercise. They were compensated depending on the number of years they delivered their service in the company. The most encouraging thing is that they were rewarded with a severance pay.
Create a chart that depicts the timeline of the disbursement of the compensation, using Microsoft Word or an equivalent such as open office
|Type of employee
|Dismissed executive employee
|Worked in the company for six years
|Was compensated a severance pay for three months. Even after dismissal, he was still given housing benefit, upkeep and medical cover and a personal car.
|Dismissed senior employee
|Worked in the company for three years
|Was compensated a severance pay for one month and medical cover.
Predict three (3) ways that this layoff may affect the company
Layoffs can adversely affect the economy, especially to those managers who are insensitive when laying off employees. This aspect takes center stage when the manager is rude, insensitive manner and disregards the laid off employees’ feelings. The laid off employee can still maintain his communication with other employees who are still working for the same manager (Forster, 2008). In fact, unfair treatment during the laying off exercise might not auger well with current employees, and is likely to cripple credibility and trust. The remaining employees are likely to avoid working under the manager in question, and such a manager will find it hard to retain good employees. Consequently, this activity has adverse effects on productivity of the company, as well as the economy. It is essential for managers to realize that the manner in which they behave and react particularly after the retrenchment exercise, is critical in the nurturing of good chemistry with their employees.
During the dismissal process, the manager must act professionally. An employee can be laid off due to inability to perform job responsibilities, poor performance, misconduct or a conflict with managers or fellow employees. Irrespective of the initiator employee termination, it is important for the manager to adhere to ethical and legal procedures. The retrenched employee deserves protection on the basis of legal principles and human considerations. The meeting should adhere to its role; informing the employee about the intended decision and the reason behind it; it should be precise and brief, and to the point.
Although it is an unfortunate decision, the manager should let the affected employee know that the decision taken is final, but explain why the decision was taken. Termination exercise is not easy and has varied effects on the manger involved in it. However, there are actions a manager can take to soften the pain of the laid employee such as helping out to seek for a new job and provide a severance package. Another point worth mentioning is that termination of an employee has marked effects to the economy. Managers should therefore be keen on how they handle the dismissal process since it can result to the resignation of the most effective workforce in the company.
Abraham, J. D., & Hansson, R. O. (1995). An Applied Study of Selection, Optimization, and Compensation through Impression Management. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 50B (2), P94-P103.
Forster, K. (2008). Downsizing: An Examination of the Consequences of Mass Layoffs. City College of New York. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from http://journal.apee.org/images/8/8f/999616.pdf
Ginsburg, J. (2010). Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Layoffs and alternatives to layoffs. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from https://www.wpi.edu/Pubs/E- project/Available/E-project-121410-110306/unrestricted/Layoffs_4.3.pdf
Heathfield, S. (2009). How to Fire With Compassion and Class. About.com Human Resources. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from http://humanresources.about.com/od/discipline/a/firecompassion_3.htm
Rudner, S. (2006). How to conduct a dismissal meeting. How to conduct a dismissal meeting. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from http://www.hrreporter.com/blog/canadian-hr- law/archive/2012/01/17/how-to-conduct-a-dismissal-meeting