PRINT This Page 
RETURN To Article 

Tip of the month: Best practices for employee terminations

Tip of the month

Best practices for employee terminations

No manager wants to terminate an employee, but sometimes performance issues require you do so.

As a manager, you must determine what behavior you will and will not tolerate. Define specific standards to which you will hold staff members accountable. These should mimic standards already detailed in the mission statement or the employee handbook materials.

If you end up in a situation in which you have to terminate an employee, the following are a few tips to consider:

  • Never terminate an employee unless you can do so face to face; however, there may occasionally be extenuating circumstances if an employee simply does not show up.
  • Consider the need to have a witness present for the termination notification meeting. This can be another manager or someone from HR.
  • Keep it short. If you have been documenting the employee’s performance and providing feedback all along, there is no need to repeat details from previous encounters when you have the conversation to terminate the employee. Stick to the point and say something such as, “You and I have previously discussed the specifics of your performance issues. We are terminating your employment due to your inability to meet the standards of this organization.”


Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, Health Resources Unlimited, Adapted with permission.