Employee Terminations: 5 Ways to Reduce Risk
For most employers, employee terminations are never pleasant experiences. Letting an employee go, even under the most amicable of circumstances, can be extremely stressful. And in the most extreme, worst-case scenarios, employee terminations can even pose threats of violence, to you, other employees, and your place of work.
So how can you terminate employment effectively while protecting employees and company property? Consider the following ways in which you can minimize the risk of terminations going bad.
Promote clear communication
When terminating an employee, many challenges can be attributed to a lack of clear communication. Establishing open lines of communication, particularly when dismissals or terminations are expected, is crucial. When the reasons for an employment action are communicated, and an opportunity or platform to engage employees about the situation is created, the chances of a backlash are reduced. Engaging in open, consistent and honest dialogues with employees—not just via emails, text messages or notices pinned to office doors—reduces the risks associated with employee terminations. Ultimately, making time for face to face conversations with employees will lead to eased tensions, and potentially even more amicable dismissals.
Spot the signals
Every incident of workplace violence has a sequence of events leading up to the point of explosion. Recognizing signs of potential violence can play a big part in reducing such incidents, especially at times of termination or dismissal. Employers should be vigilant year round, not just when it comes time for an employee termination. If you lack the internal resources to monitor employees that pose a concern, hiring a security company with a combination of uniformed and plainclothes security officers can offer supplemental assistance.
Trained security guards will be able to spot the telltale signs of potential violence and other situations. Their training and expertise can help prevent potential incidents from arising. As a proactive and preventative security measure, the use of security guards can be an integral part of any security strategy.
Think of security as an ongoing process
Visible, on-going and well-planned security is critical to preventing violence or upheaval. Performing continuous reviews of security measures, testing new ideas and keeping security flexible, are all part of a living, breathing security strategy. In the workplace, situations and circumstances change all the time— new employees are brought onto the team, office spaces are renovated and revamped, employees are promoted or fired, etc.— which is why your security needs to be adapted and updated as necessary. For example, as part of a commitment to building a more comprehensive security strategy, you may consider hiring a third-party security company to perform in-depth background checks on new staff members. Understanding employee histories plays a pivotal role in preventing workplace violence.
Consider bringing on professional security to aid in the termination process
Unfortunately, some employee dismissals may require the assistance of professional security. With a plethora of expertise, a professional security company will not only deploy experienced, security guards with a law enforcement background, but also provide a strategic security solution that ensures the safety of employees and assets equally. Employing experienced security officers on a short-term contract for pre-termination discussions and to assist with escorting staff off your premises, provides peace of mind. The presence of a security officer also drastically reduces the chances of a staff member carrying out an act of violence or vandalism.
If you feel an imminent employee termination may require professional security services, or you would like to know more about our security services more generally, please visit our site to learn more.