Quit In A Most Amicable Spirit.

Is that possible: to dismiss an employee—and he says thank you? Of course not. That would be a scene for a satire program. But what works is that he leaves and says goodbye with a handshake and a reasonably well feeling—according to the circumstances.

Written by Jens Kügler

For an employee with my abilities and my quality there is currently no vacancy in this company, said the boss to me. He explained the current tasks to me in a credible way, based on the actual customer structure and order situation. As soon as this changed, he would immediately call me again. He did indeed—but by that time I had long since found a job in another company which he had predicted and recommended to me.

I left the executive office with my head held high. A colleague of mine was even referred to his new company by his former boss. Sure it can’t always work that way. But how do you sign someone off without humiliating him? How, so that the dismissed person doesn’t hold a grudge against the company, start bad word-of-mouth propaganda and dispraise the employer on social networks?

The basic rule is: the (euphemistically) so-called golden handshake must take place in a dignified environment and in a respectful manner. Everything else causes humiliation. It reaps frustration and possibly a storm of indignation among colleagues, in the industry or on the Internet. Any manager is a wrong choice in his position who does not master the respectful treatment and crisis management, even in the interpersonal area.

But let’s immediately put ourselves in the most difficult position that a dismisser can take on: the role of one who acts on the instructions of another. For example, that of a head of department who, instead of his boss, announces the dismissals. He acts only on behalf of the company. Any private opinion like “I’m on your side, my friend. You know the way they deal with us here” is absolutely not appropriate here.

The person concerned must know why the decision against him was made. Are there any operational reasons? It needs to be explained as in the example above. Is it because of dissatisfaction with the performance? Then it’s time to tell what improvement potential the dismissed employee has—maybe to give him a second chance after all. Or as an improvement hint for his future career. It is also clear that, in case of dissatisfaction, at least one warning must have preceded the notice of termination.

Very important: never let it leak or wait until “it’s all over town”! Means: The boss or department leader must ensure that the employee has not learned about his dismissal in advance from others. A bad, but frequently occurring example from professional soccer are coaches who learn about their dismissal from the newspapers. Everyone can imagine how someone feels when this happens.

The manager should prepare himself in detail for the dismissal interview. He must be able to answer all conceivable questions right off the bat. For example, how many days of holiday the dismissed person has still to take. Or whether he receives a severance pay. And if so, how much.

Despite to all preparation and all friendliness: it can happen that the dismissed person responds to the manager with anger, or even yells at him. A second person in the dismissal interview, such as a team leader or executive assistant, can calm down, support and mediate. Experience has shown that these soft skills are more mastered by women than by men.

Last but not least: observe the notice periods! Sounds banal, but must be mentioned. If you do not take this into account, you risk legal dispute. By the way: It is already perceived as humiliating when the notice of termination is given on the last possible day before the end of the notice period. According to the motto: you shall not receive another month’s salary! Unfortunately, I have experienced this, too. You can imagine what emotions this leaves behind. You won’t forget that for the rest of your life. So don’t let your employees feel like those of Mr. Trump who’ve simply heard “you are fired”!

Empfehlen Sie diesen Beitrag: