How to conduct a dismissal meeting


The employer-employee relation is one vital factor that each running firm should put first. The relationship helps create an environment, in which the workers can thrive in, and it also assists workers in giving their best, since, with a favorable environment, employees can generate several synergies (Muller, 2009).  However, in certain situations, employees have no voice in what goes on in their work environments; hence, necessitating the formation of unions that cater to various workers under different industries. The Unions are part of the constitutional requirements of any country that helps keep in check the relationship between the employer and their workers. However, in some extreme cases, some employees are quite stubborn in their way of working; therefore, certain actions may be taken such as dismissal. Dismissal is a very emotional time when the human resource manager should be very keen on how to handle it. Laying off a worker may be due to various reasons such as uncooperative employee, the decline in the Company’s operations, government regulation, and any other reasonable cause. However, despite the reason, dismissal is a sensitive exercise and should be handled in the right way.

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It is necessary for the team concerned in breaking the unpleasant news o first do a thorough groundwork checkup and has convincing documents that fully support laying off the worker. It is also the responsibility of the manager to preserve the dignity of the employee no matter the reasons for his or her dismissal. The person in charge should also choose an environment that is earshot from other workers. Privacy is, therefore, a crucial part of the termination exercise. The meeting should be held earlier during the week, to give the worker a chance to search for another job (Busse, 2005). Another vital factor is that the meeting should be brief, ten to fifteen minutes. The manager should also be human enough to give a hearing to the worker to listen to his side of the story; probably it may end up changing something.

Ways a Manager Can Deal With Negative Emotions Accompanying an Employee Layoff

First is proper communication. It is the duty of the employer to give a prior briefing to the worker before the official dismissal meeting (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, 2004). The plan should focus on informing the employee on the stand that has been taken, with a document that clearly shows the reasons for the layoff. Bombarding the worker with such sensitive information just at once is not encouraged.

The employer should take the time to talk with the other employees and inform them of a prospective dismissal without having to mention the name of the worker. The information should be backed up by clear reasons behind the dismissal. Such a procedure gives the other employees a chance to be aware of what could lead them into such danger. It also prevents them from receiving such unpleasant surprises that may make them feel as if they might be next, or as if their job security is at stake.

The third technique is for the manager to give all his legitimate reasons and opinions regarding the dismissal. The honest opinions will also reduce any unnecessary tension, and makes some workers admit their fault; any they may have ways to deal with the dismissal.

The manager should also dispel any possible rumors that may be going around the firm about the layoff. The strategy can only be addressed if the manager is ready to expose all the correct details to every employee. The reasons should also be reasonable and not bring up anything personal between the laid of worker and the employer.

Process of Conducting a Dismissal Meeting

Treat the Employee Right

As the manager, you should refrain from showing any hostile attitude towards the victim. It is the responsibility of the manager to highly respect and maintain the dignity of the worker up to the last minute.

Choose a Proper Meeting Place

The first thing the employer should know is that the dismissal should be conducted face-to-face; not through electronic means such as emails o through phones. The meeting should be held in some private place, and out of official environment such as the office. Neutral ground is significant for both parties. A witness is also important in the case of any trouble of false accusations.

Give Satisfactory Reasons for the Discharge

The employer should have enough information to back up the dismissal. A reasonable explanation is also of importance to the worker.

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Give a Hearing to the Worker

The team concerned of the dismissal should give a chance to the worker to give his side of the story; this should be done with no interruptions. In case the employee feels the layoff is unfair, and then the third party may be needed to come in, maybe a lawyer or attorney.

Run through the Benefits

They may include insurance benefits, health benefits, and any other. The employer should draw a clear line of the benefits that cease with the worker’s job and honor those that should continue despite the dismissal.

Explain your Job Reference Policy

If it is your responsibility as the human resource manager of the employer to give more information to the worker in writing such as employment dates, salary history, and any other information, then it is then that you act by writing, so as the employer.

Collect what Belongs to the Company from the Employees

Such item includes office keys, car keys, Company credit cards, Company cell phone and any other firm property. In case the employee was working on some project with the business’s resources, then he or she should be given time to complete the project, and a later date set for the handing in of the property.

Compensation for a Laid-off Worker

Laws from different countries are enacted differently and have different rules for the work related situations. The laws mainly in the human resource sector, and the relationship between a worker and the employee, based on the benefits and compensation policies. Under the State laws, in the case of a dismissal, it is the obligation of the employer to continue covering some of the benefits such as insurance benefits, health benefits, and retirement benefits.  However, on top of this, the law does not obligate the employers to give any extra benefits to the fired member. However, the manager should have some tip of never discussing these benefits that accrue after dismissal, since some workers have held this against employers who may have just mentioned some benefits that come along with termination, and the lack of them may cause a problem to the worker.

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Under Health Benefits

Under the state law known as COBRA, any employer who has group health plan for their workers must extend this to the fired worker, their spouse, and the children, at the employee’s cost. Employees who have been laid-off due to misconduct are however not entitled to the health insurance plan.

Vested Retirement Benefits

Dismissed workers are entitled to any pension or profit sharing benefits that were under the employment plans.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The manager should be timely enough to notify the fired worker about the eligibility of the insurance. Failure to which lack of notice may make the employee sue the employer in case of any delayed insurance benefits.

How a Layoff affects an Organization

The firing of an individual worker may at times appear to be of no effect to the Company, but it causes a ripple effect to the firm. The reason is that there is usually a missing link in part of the company’s operations. Some of the ways a business gets affected include:

Incurring of unplanned costs, such as severance pay to the laid-off employee, and any other payments that the fired worker is entitled.

A rise in turnover by other employees. The dismissal of a worker brings a sense of insecurity to other workers, making then to consider other jobs being offered by other companies.

Emotional distress in the workplace is caused by the dismissal of a fellow worker. The emotional disturbance arises since the work that was left behind by the worker must be shared among the existing workers, thus increasing their job load. The level of productivity may also go down especially for the workers who develop fear from such instances such as layoffs.

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The firing of workers may be bringing a counteracting effect on the loyalty of workers. The reason is that laying off of workers shows some instability in the firm’s operations, therefore making the customers lose confidence in the enterprise (Repa, 2010).  Fewer workers also mean the delay in delivery of goods and services to the customers, which may not be taken so lightly by the customers.

Chart that Depicts the Timeline of the Disbursement of Compensation to a Laid-off Worker

Compensation Amount Time of disbursement
Sick daysBase rate per dayPaid up to two weeks after dismissal
Final pay slip or checkThree weeks’ pay per each year that was workerImmediately after the laying off
Vacation timeTwo weeks’ payUp to three weeks after termination
Health benefitsThe payment continue even after the dismissal of the employeeImmediately after termination
Insurance benefitsContinuation of insurance payment with no delay by the employerImmediately after termination


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  1. Busse, R. C. (2005). Fired, Laid-off or Forced Out: A Complete Guide to Severance, Benefits, And Your Rights When You’re Starting Over. Naperville, Il.: Sphinx Pub., an Imprint of Sourcebooks.
  2. Muller, M. (2009). The Manager’s Guide To HR: Hiring, Firing, Performance Evaluations, Documentation, Benefits, And Everything Else You Need To Know. New York: AMACOM.
  3. Pfeiffer, R. S., & Forsberg, R. P. (2004). Ethics on the Job: Cases and Strategies. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
  4. Repa, B. K. (2010). Your Rights In The Workplace. Berkeley, CA: Nolo.
  5. Workforce Reduction Committees. A Labor/Management Approach. (1988). National Alliance of Business Clearinghouse.
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