Employee termination-How to handle termination effectively.

min read
Employee termination-How to handle termination effectively.

How To Handle Employee Termination Effectively

Goodbyes are certainly hard. They are harder when it’s an employee. Even harder when you have to write a termination letter to employee and heartbreaking if it’s a voluntary termination from a top performer. Let us start by looking at the types of employee termination.

  1. Involuntary Termination
  2. Voluntary Termination

1.Involuntary Termination

It is challenging to find the right talent and retain them. In this competition-driven world, it’s hard to land an employee who is dedicated to the company. One bad cook can spoil the broth. One toxic employee is enough to drag the whole company down. That is why you have got to get the toxic ones out right when you spot them. Let us start by understanding what an involuntary termination is.

 Involuntary termination means that an employee is terminated by the employer due to any justifiable reason. They are dismissed, fired or laid-off from the company. The reasons for an involuntary termination can be many like

  • Noncompliance
  • Underperformance
  • Incompetency
  • Unacceptable behaviors
  • Layoffs 

In the case of an involuntary termination, employers are required to fill a termination letter to the employee. They can’t just go on their face and shout you are fired. The times have changed and the employer does not hold such privileges anymore unless and until such a grave situation arises. 

2.Voluntary Termination

Voluntary termination, as the name suggests is when an employee makes a voluntary decision to leave the company. The reasons might be uncontrollable by you or may even be uncontrollable by them. The various reasons can be

  • Better opportunity
  • Personal commitments
  • Pursuing education
  • Moving abroad
  • Maternity/ Paternity and more 

The point is to handle termination, whether voluntary or involuntary, effectively. 

Tips to Handle Employee Termination

It is difficult, as an employer or as HR to go up to the employee and talk about termination.

Here are some steps to take in order to handle termination effectively. 

There are certain things which you as HR or employer, can do to do away with termination. Try those and move forward if all else fails.


This might look like a cliched tip. But trust us,  it is worthy. Communicate your expectations properly. As we always say, you can exceed expectations only when you know the expectations. Ensure to communicate your expectations. Also, understand their situation and act accordingly.


After the first stage of communication, come up with a plan which will work well for both the employee and the employer.  Curate a solid plan. Urge the employee in question to implement it and live by it. In case of voluntary termination. Try and strike a deal that is beneficial for both the parties.


You have to step up and be a good coach. You have to show the same enthusiasm which you had while hiring the employee. If the employee is an underperformer, initiate a training or an upskilling program which may help them perform better.


Observe whether the employee is working on himself and putting in effort to make positive impacts. Give a chance for growth and then take the decision forward. If the upskilling is also not working, then you definitely have a problem at hand.


Make notes of the instances which is leading you to make the decision of terminating the employee. This will definitely help you in the long run. Document the downfalls and the issues which has lead you to make the decision of terminating the employee.

vi. Watch the Time and Channel

To be honest, there is no right time to say ‘we have to let you go’, but ensure to choose the best out of the worst timings to deliver the news. The medium through which you are communicating should also be carefully chosen.

vii.Tone down your tone.

No matter how bad a performer the employee was, make sure to choose a subtle tone. This way, you come out as a great employer. Keep your calm and convey the message as subtly as possible. Remember that it is not going to be easy for the employee. Take their emotions into consideration and take the high road.

viii.Bye-Bye Drama

Say no to any drama. Have a proper letter prepared and let the other employees know about the termination of the employee in question by stating the facts. Don’t bring emotion to center stage while announcing the termination or while talking about termination to the employee.

ix.Strangle the grapevine

Give no room for rumors. Get up and talk before the other employees set on a rally to communicate their assumptions and takes about the termination. This is important in the case of involuntary as well as voluntary termination. Nip the rumors and take the stage and state the details as early as possible so that there are no stories in the making.


Being proactive has to come to be an innate quality of the employer and HR. try and foresee the happenings and be prepared for sudden terminations. Don’t be caught off the guard when a top performer hands in their resignation. You should be prepared to fill the void or the requirement. Anticipate what may come along.

In case of specific scenarios like if the position has become redundant, ensure to accommodate the employee and if that is impossible, be considerate. Remember, every employee who steps out of your organization is an ambassador. You don’t want them talking il about you.  Certain scenarios are inevitable but ensure to your part right.

How to Reduce Termination

Certain employee terminations are inevitable. However, there are means which you as an employer can employ to reduce employee termination by a large margin. As an employer, your key focus must be employee retention. You will be surprised to see some of the employee retention statistics.

  • Employee Engagement Initiatives- Employee Engagement is crucial to sustain a company.  It is a fact that engaged employees are more productive in a company. You can reduce involuntary termination to a large extent if your workspace is filled with productive employees.
  • Employee appreciation- After all the efforts and stress, imagine the situation of the employees if they feel that they are not being appreciated enough or are not being recognized for their attempts? Employee appreciation can create a positive impact and can boost the motivation to work.
  • Company Culture- Your company culture pronounces the personality f your company. It plays an important part in employee retention. Employees would never want to leave a company with good company culture and would work hard to make sure that they are not terminated.
  • Performance Upliftment Programs- Upskill your employees and give them performance upliftment. Train them at regular intervals and promote a culture of learning and unlearning.

Be a company that want to grow with their people and not outgrow their people. Try and reduce termination as much as possible. Talent management has become easy with the advancement in technology. Make use of technology the right way. Embrace these changes and get ready to see the growth.

We hope you got some great insights from this blog. Its now time to apply it. Get started with peopleHum for free today. No credit card needed.

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