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Do These 4 Things Before Letting Go of an Employee or Contractor


Letting go of an employee or contractor is not something to do on a whim. There are many reasons why it might be time for the business to part ways with a particular worker, but there are certain steps you should always take before going forward with the process. Following the appropriate procedures is not only fair for the employee in question, but also protects the company's reputation and liability interests. By making the right preparations leading up to the big conversation, you can approach the issue confident that you did everything you could. Consider this helpful advice from the Cary-Grove Area Chamber of Commerce.


1. Decide if Letting Them Go Is Really Necessary

It can be morally difficult to lay someone off from their job, but there comes a time when it is necessary for the good of the company. If a contractor does not fulfill the services they contractually agree to provide, they could be liable for damages against the business. You can pursue compensation for a contract breach if the terms are legally binding and enforceable, but you also should remove the source of the problem before it reoccurs. This can be a tricky call, so it’s best to get an attorney involved if you are seriously considering accusing someone of a breach of contract.


If you think that the behavior of a problematic employee can be corrected, you might attempt coaching or even mediation. Be aware, however, that the consequences of the individual's actions might snowball if the issue is not resolved decisively.


2. Have a Document Management System in Place

When letting go of an employee, you want the process to go as smoothly as possible for all involved. You do not want hiccups to occur when filling out or transferring employee documentation. One way to address this is by using a free PDF extraction tool when organizing important documents. You can select relevant pages from various files and create a new PDF so all the records you need are collected in one convenient document. You can also benefit from using a tool that deletes PDF pages in order to keep your files concise, tidy, and easy to send via email.


3. Understand How to Protect Your Company

There is always a possibility that a laid-off employee will come after the company with wrongful termination accusations. Before going through with letting an employee go, make sure to take certain steps toward protecting the business in case this happens.


AIHR explains that one of the biggest mistakes you can make when terminating an employee is to have the termination conversation without a third-party witness. This will likely be a human resources employee who can testify to the nature of the discussion if legal issues arise. Another way to guard against legal repercussions is to keep detailed records of the employee's performance as evidence that the termination took place for a legitimate reason


4. Rehearse the Conversation

Breaking the news about letting an employee go is not easy, so be sure to rehearse what you want to say if you wish to be fully prepared. Keap explains that you can also use a script that you have practiced in advance. These strategies can help you stand your ground even if the conversation takes an emotional turn. When the time comes, invite the employee in question to a closed office or other discreet location so as to protect their privacy. Once again, do not neglect to have a third party present to help keep discussions on track and ward off legal issues that might crop up down the line.


Be Both Gracious and Cautious

Remember that even though letting go of an employee or contractor feels difficult for you, it is likely even more trying for the person on the other end of the discussion. You have a responsibility to handle the situation with grace and efficiency. But it is important that you protect yourself and your company by documenting your reasons clearly. These notes are also helpful to the employee so they can hopefully learn from their mistakes. If you take all the necessary steps to prepare beforehand, though, you can act decisively when circumstances call for it.

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