Severance

This section would be incomplete if we didn't go over the downsides of running a team. There are only two reasons for getting rid of staff: They are not up to the job or the business can no longer afford them. If you have to sack a person for any good reason, don't be shy about it. You owe it to them to have a direct, polite conversation in private. Address the subject frankly and honestly. This gives them a chance to review their behavior and make some changes in the future.

Be sure to make a record of the discussion, outline the steps that you have mutually agreed upon to terminate the relationship within the contracts of employment and local legislation. If they have lied, stolen, or committed a serious civil or corporate misdemeanor, you must take the appropriate action. In extreme cases this can involve the following:

♦ Immediate cessation of work (clearing desk/leaving building immediately)

♦ Informing police of perceived irregularities

♦ Withholding of references

♦ No payment beyond the day that they leave

♦ Taking legal advice and pursuing legal action if required

Inform the rest of the staff that the person has left. Explain that it would be unprofessional to discuss the circumstances in public. If the removal is politically complex or seems to be an unpopular decision, you may be wise to let one or two people know the background in private. Make sure that what you say doesn't contravene the employment legislation or compromise the firm. In general, don't say anything that you would not be prepared to say to the person's face.

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