No straight answers from HR on employee terminations

by on May 29, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

HR people think like outsiders with employee terminations

HR people exist in a gray area. It’s the area of “it depends”. If a manager comes up, asking if they can fire someone, the answer is probably “It depends”. It depends on how long they’ve been around. It depends on what the employee termination is for. If it’s something dangerous or illegal, like smoking in the dynamite factory, it’s pretty easy. They’re fired. It’s very tough in HR, outside of probably some wage and hour issues to give absolutes.

HR people think like journalists with employee termination
HR people think like outsiders too. And that’s what’s tough. It’s not natural for managers to make that decision that managers tend to be much more logical. And they want to solve the problem quickly.

Now, HR people, they have to be a little careful. It’s not about the people. It’s not about them being a people person. HR’s job is to help managers and supervisors reach their goals, if that means employee terminations, that’s fine. But they need to make sure that the termination will actually help or if it’s just a quick fix.

Straight answers from HR are really tough when dealing with employee terminations
Bear with them. Good managers understand the “60 Minutes” concept. They understand that it’s important to know how terminating employees will look to outsiders, judges, juries, and arbitrators.

Most managers don’t naturally think this way. And that’s where a good HR person comes in. Just one person in our operation thinks this way that when somebody talks about the company softball team, that’s the one person that worries about the field and about the drinking at the game and the company T-shirt and where they’re going to go after the game or whatever the situation may be, there’s that one person who looks and makes sure that what you’re doing is in the companies best interest.

In bigger companies that’s usually the HR person. Smaller companies, it doesn’t have to be, it could be anybody. But just one there that thinks like the outsider thinks with employee terminations. They may drive you crazy sometimes. But if their heart’s on the right place and you start to hear this stuff you’ll see they’re trying to keep you and the company out of court while terminating employees.

Harmony, productivity and that third piece is compliance. Stay out of court.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar: “Yes, You Can Fire Without Fear!-What Every Supervisor Needs to Know” by Hunter Lott on April 29, 2009

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