Making the Most of an Exit Interview

Termination

wAn exit interview helps ensure the exiting employee, whether voluntarily leaving or not, leaves with as positive a view of the company as possible by sharing information with HR they may have not been able to share while employed. The information shared during the exit interview is especially important if there’s anything happening that can increase risk to the business.  

It is highly recommended that the exit interview is conducted by a member of the HR team or at the least, a neutral party in the manager to employee relationship. This will help give the employee a platform to give honest feedback. Here are a few of the most commonly asked exit interview questions for employees voluntarily leaving:

  • Is there any feedback you’d like to provide about your manager?
  • What are your thoughts about how you were treated by your supervisor and co-workers?
  • Do you believe that your work was recognized and appreciated?
  • What is the morale of your co-workers like?
  • What steps would you take to make this company a better place to work?

And here are a few of the most commonly asked exit interview questions for employees being terminated:

  • Is there any feedback you’d like to provide about your manager?
  • Is there any feedback you’d like to provide about the company? 
  • Is there anything you’d like to share regarding your time here at the company?

Here are a list of items or behavior we advise against during an exit interview:

  • Don’t use slanderous or emotional language
  • Don’t agree or disagree with the individual if he says negative things about other people or parts of the business
  • Don’t admit fault or place blame on an individual or team
  • Don’t respond at length and instead, keep responses to a minimum and let the exiting employee speak

Exit interviews are an opportunity to improve working conditions within your company and can also give you insight to any possible organizational issues. An employee that quits or is fired can hurt your business and the morale of the team. Exit interviews help make sure you can learn as much as you can in order to mitigate any possible problems before they get out of control.

Bambee helps HR teams get ahead of any potential issues by giving Managers the freedom to record incidents of any kinds long before any corrective action is needed. 

Head over to www.bambee.com to see how Bambee gives HR and Managers the right tools to get ahead of potential issues.

-The Bambee Team

The Employee Termination Checklist

Termination

You want to terminate an employee and protect your business from any future wrongful termination lawsuits. Below is a high-level checklist to help save you time. Bambee always recommends consulting with your lawyer or appropriate legal counsel before terminating an employee.

The Pre-Termination Checklist
The goal of the pre-termination checklist is to decide how much of a risk the employee poses once terminated.

  • Review local, state, and federal employment laws
    • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
    • Discrimination regulation established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and if the employee is part of a protected class
  • Gather documentation related to the employee
    • Performance reviews
    • Corrective actions
    • Timecard sheets (if applicable)
    • Any documentation that is necessary for the termination not listed such as employment contracts, job descriptions, and email
  • Get approval by HR (if applicable)
    • HR will review all the paperwork and help determine the risk of the employee to the business

The Termination Checklist
Once you’ve been given the OK to terminate your employee, here’s what to do in preparation for the termination meeting and during it.

  • Gather legally required documents
    • Final paycheck
    • Termination letter
    • COBRA notification (if applicable)
    • Unemployment notification (if applicable)
    • Separation agreement (if applicable)
    • Severance (if applicable)
  • Prior to the termination meeting
    • Schedule a meeting with the employee (or plan to call the employee into the office at a certain time)
    • Prepare and practice a short, concise termination speech
    • Make sure there is at least one witness for the meeting (ideally, someone representing HR)
  • During the termination meeting
    • Deliver the prepared speech
    • Gather any and all company equipment, including but not limited to: access cards, parking passes, laptops, cell phones
    • Deliver any legal documents prepared earlier
    • Ensure they have a point of contact (ideally in HR) if they need to return any signed paperwork, company property, or to answer any questions

Post-Termination Checklist
Once the news has been delivered and the employee has been fired, your work isn’t done yet.

  • Coordinate with HR or legal to hand-off any additional documentation
  • Communicate with accounting to deactivate the employee from payroll
  • File a ticket with IT to revoke access to company tools and information, including:
    • Company Email
    • Chat Apps or Services (e.g. Yammer, Slack)
    • Database or server logins
  • Ensure HR is available and actively waiting for any signed documents or company property not handed over during the termination meeting

We know this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to terminating an employee the right way. Firing an employee the wrong way can really hurt your business. The average cost of defending against a wrongful termination lawsuit is $250k and ~275 days to fully resolve according to Hiscox Insurance.

Bambee helps business owners and HR teams terminate employees in a more compliant way to help reduce the risks related to wrongful termination lawsuits. Find out more at www.bambee.com.

-The Bambee Team

 

How to Fire Part-Time Employees or Contracted Employees

Termination

Firing an employee the right way is a tedious task that requires attention to detail and great documentation.  When it comes to your part-time employees and contracted personnel, it is important to understand how the usual process changes. We’ve outlined the biggest components to keep in mind. 

How to Fire Part-Time and Contracted Employees

  1. Gather documentation.  Just with any employee, it is important to document anything and everything to make sure there are no slips in the process.  Documentation needs to include performance plans, written warnings, and any other issue documentation that has been formally discussed and agreed upon with your employees. 

  2. Review any contracts.  There are two types of contracts: expressed and implied. Expressed contracts are typically written documents, and most small businesses are familiar with this. Implied contracts are when employers make a promise (usually, verbally) about the job, for example, job security.  This is where it typically changes between full-time and other types of employees, so review each clause to ensure you’re not breaking any part of the contract.

  3. Keep HR in the loop.  Your part-time and contracted employees were hired to perform a particular job duty and have specific job titles.  Just like their full-time counterparts, part-time and contracted employees need to follow the same company rules and procedures as the other employees. This means you should be in constant communication with HR during the firing process and have someone from HR present at the termination meeting.

  4. Be brief in the termination meeting.  Firing an employee is hard, and the last thing you’ll want to do is drag the process out.  Prepare what you’re going to say, deliver the termination at the start of the meeting, and be objective and concise about the reasons why. 

  5. Disable their access to your company data.  After your part-time or contracted employee has been fired, you’ll want to disable any access they have to your company’s data, which can include company email and shared data drive.

  6. Be open with other employees.  There is always a chance that your other employees may have negative emotions to the process.  If you let your part-time or contracted employee go, consider holding a meeting with your other employees so that they can have a chance to voice their concern with the situation if needed. 

Firing part-time employees and contractors the right way can be confusing and difficult, but Bambee helps make terminations straightforward and fair. 

Head over to www.bambee.com to see how we give HR and Managers the right tools when it’s time to terminate a part-time employee or contractor.

-The Bambee Team

How to Fire an Employee

Termination

Firing (aka terminating) an employee is not always something that every manager plans for; however, there comes a time when an employee needs to be let go.  When that time comes, there are certain aspects that every manager needs to consider prior to making the termination happen.  Listed below are seven effective methods for terminating an employee the right way.

How to Fire an Employee

  1. Review your company policy and get approval by HR.  Regardless of the reason that your employee is being let go, you need to review your company policy first so you’re not putting the business at risk for a wrongful termination lawsuit.  Gather all required documentation, evidence to support your reason for termination, and meet with HR for their approval. They’ll have a long list of to-do items before you can terminate the employee, and following those rules will make sure the business is protected.  HR will, at the very least, help: 
    1. Decide how much of a risk this employee is to the business if they’re terminated
    2. You follow local, state, and federal regulations related to employee termination
    3. Make sure the termination is fair to the employee and business
  2. Prepare for the exit meeting.  The process of terminating an employee isn’t as simple as just stating “you’re fired.”  Just as you would do when interviewing a candidate for hiring, you want to make sure to have a plan for delivering the news to the employees, including all the required paperwork and notifications if they’re eligible for COBRA or unemployment. 
  3. Keep the exit meeting brief and professional.  The transition is already awkward and the news to the employee may cause many different emotions to surface, which makes saying the right thing so crucial.  It is very helpful to prepare a statement, have it reviewed by HR, and then practice it before the actual delivery. 
  4. Have HR in the exit meeting.  Given that emotions are running strong, it’s very important to have a neutral party within the company to either run the meeting or help guide it. HR will help make sure the employee gets everything they need as required by federal regulation before they exit the building.
  5. Alert the right departments about the termination.  The final paycheck (including any unused time-off days or sick days) is required at the termination meeting so accounting will need to be notified before then. They’ll also need to deactivate them from payroll going forward. IT and Operations will also need to be notified in order to deactivate any online accounts and recuperate any company-owned belongings like key cards and id badges. 
  6. Notify your team and their peers.  After the exit, your team and the employees the now ex-employee worked with could be confused. Hold a meeting to inform the employees of the news and get ahead of any potential issues by being objective and brief about why the employee was fired and how this will benefit the company in the long-run.

Firing an employee the right way can be confusing and difficult, but Bambee helps make terminations straightforward and easy. 

Head over to www.bambee.com to see how we give HR and Managers the right tools when it’s time to terminate an employee.

-The Bambee Team

 

How to Beat a Performance Improvement Plan

corrective action

While some may think being placed on a Performance Improvement Plan as something of a career death sentence, being placed on one is the best opportunity to reset expectations about your work performance so you can forge a new path in growth for your own job and career.  Let’s take a look at how to beat the performance improvement plan.

How to Beat a Performance Improvement Plan

  1. Get out of your comfort zone.  Being placed on a Performance Improvement Plan means the business is taking your case seriously, so you should also take it seriously.  This may take you out of your comfort zone, but it’s in your best interest to communicate with your manager to figure out the resources you need to reach the goals given to you and list out the reasons why you weren’t able to hit the goals previously. 
  2. Stay focused.  Your manager or the company’s HR team may have suggested strategies to help you achieve the agreed-upon goals. Whether or not you received them, it’s up to you to figure out additional strategies and how to execute them. You only have a small window of time to get it right, so it’s important to stay focused on achieving your specific goals.  
  3. Communicate often.  It would be unwise to simply keep doing what you have been in the past and hope things will work out. Your manager should have set up some follow-up dates to check in with you. If not, be proactive and set up those follow-up dates yourself. It’s best to communicate any issues you’re having earlier on so you can have a better chance at achieving your goals. 
  4. Seek help.  Help can come from anyone, whether it’s your current network of relationships or outside of it.  Although every Performance Improvement Plan is different, the goals you need to achieve will help you figure out who you can leverage to increase your chances of succeeding.  
  5. Be confident.  It can feel like you’re constantly under the microscope and everything is on the line. But always keep in mind that it’s you who has the power to decide if you’re going to give it your best or not. There are other people on the same team who are hitting their goals and assuming you’re receiving all the same resources and have a similar skillset, you should be able to hit those goals as well. 

Bambee helps give HR and Managers the right tools to allow their Employees to be successful during a Performance Improvement Plan. 

Head over to www.bambee.com to see how we give HR and Managers the right tools for successful Performance Improvement Plans or share Bambee with your favorite HR person and Manager.

-The Bambee Team

The Real Truth about Performance Improvement Plans

corrective action

There has been some misconception about what a performance improvement plan is and what it represents, especially for employees on the receiving end. Forbes even goes out of their way to have you thinking that these plans are only set in place to let you go. 

A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is simply a way for you and your manager to come up with an action-oriented process for your success.  It gives you and employees like you a real shot at improvement since it requires your manager to give you additional resources to succeed, including more direct, face-time with your manager. 

Performance Improvement Plans Work When You Believe They’ll Work

  • Know the Path is Clear.  You’ve been given the road map for success and all you have to do is deliver the quality results.  One little-known fact about a Performance Improvement Plan is that businesses also hold managers accountable during the Plan. Each termination increases risk to the business so it’s in the company’s benefit to create a level playing field for employees. Even though your manager has a cleared a path for you, it’s possible you still may stumble.

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help.  This is a highly underrated option for many individuals so once you’ve agreed to the plan, don’t be afraid to get help from your fellow co-workers and your manager as well.  Feel like you can’t ask for help? Now is the time to voice that concern, either verbally or by email, to your manager or HR.

  • Don’t Stop Believing.  There’s no need to sugarcoat this – Performance Improvement Plans have a bad reputation.  However, they exist to help employees and protect the business.  Each company uses them differently, but it’s important that you stay positive and treat it as a learning experience. 

Bambee gives HR, Managers, and Employees the clarity and transparency needed for a successful Performance Improvement Plan. 

Head over to www.bambee.com to see in detail how we help make clarity and transparency happen or share Bambee with your favorite HR person.

-The Bambee Team

Six Ways You’re Doing Performance Improvement Plans Wrong

corrective action

As a manager, there have likely been times where an employee underperforms, and sometimes, it requires a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). A common problem is that managers are left with a template with little to no instruction. Whether that template is found online or is straight from HR, it’s tough to know the right way to do things, especially if you don’t do it often.  Here are some red flags to look for when it’s time to give an employee a Performance Improvement Plan.

Top Ways You’re Doing Performance Improvement Plans Wrong

  1. Finding a template online.  Online templates are typically created for a specific industry or company and may not fulfill all the special needs of your specific case.  Templates also make it difficult to understand how long the Performance Improvement Plans should actually last.
  2. No Review or Approval by HR.  Every Performance Improvement Plan you use should be thoroughly reviewed prior to the meeting you have with the employee so that all steps are accounted for in the plan and all the right details are there. Remember, Performance Improvement Plans help improve the employee in the best case scenario, but in the worst case scenario, they can help protect the business.
  3. Unclear or Unattainable Goals. Without the right guidance or training, setting goals and timelines can be very difficult, which increases risk to the business and the employee.  When you use a performance improvement plan, you need to make sure to create goals that are specific to the employee’s ability and needs and align with their job description. We recommend following the S.M.A.R.T. rule for goal setting.
  4. Little to No Follow-ups.  Just as your employee needs to be held accountable for improving their performance, you (the manager) needs to be held accountable for following up on your end.   Having consistent and frequent follow-ups scheduled to meet with your employee creates a platform for proper dialogue that’s beneficial to the employee and the company.
  5. Lack of Communication.  It is essential to have adequate communication with your employee during the length of the Performance Improvement Plan.  We recommend meeting up at least once per week for a 30-day plan. Depending on the primary issue or new proposed goals, you may want to follow-up more frequently.
  6. Sparse Documentation.  It’s hard to remember to document incidents right when they occur or report it to HR, since it’s easy to give you employee the benefit of the doubt. This makes it difficult to remember all the details of past examples when it’s time to place them on a Performance Improvement Plan. 

Bambee helps managers like you create Performance Improvement Plans by giving best-practice tips and guidance at each step of creation. We also help with getting the proper review and approval from HR, facilitate communication between every person involved, and keep you on top of follow-ups with your employee. 

Head over to www.bambee.com to give us a try for free or share this post with your favorite person in HR.

-The Bambee Team