In the HR world there are the good, the bad and the ugly in management practices. (Of course companies that do the bad and the ugly aren’t using Alternative HR!)  We caught up with a former colleague the other day and heard the story of how he got into the great role he has right now. The ending was sweet, but the story of how he got there was appalling. So – unless your staffer has committed a crime of some sort – here is a list of how NOT to tell an employee that you’re letting them go:

  • Send a company-wide email with posting opportunities on it and include their job on the list of available positions.
  • Unpack their personal items from their desk when they’re out of the office and leave the box of items handily waiting for them on top of the desk for when they arrive the next day.
  • Send a singing telegram. The song will help to ease the blow.Call their mother and let their mother tell them the bad news.
  • Assign two security guards to meet them at the front door, escort them to their office and monitor the packing of their office before the guards collect their key and escort them back out the door. Oh, and make plenty of noise so EVERYONE in the department can have the opportunity to know what’s going on.
  • Tell them the afternoon before they leave on vacation. That way they won’t have to worry about coming back in when vacation is over.
  • Tell them the day before the Christmas/New Year holiday. If you time it right everybody’s tax reporting information will be really clean, with no untidy paychecks extending into the next year.
  • Send them an email that gives them the news.
  • Call them when they’re at the hospital recovering from major surgery. Otherwise they’ll send your health care costs through the roof!
  • Tell them right before they have a baby. Their joy at the new family addition will distract them from the fact that they will have no income.
  • Tell the office gossip and person will pass the information along.And they will probably get it done more quickly than you would be able to schedule a meeting to do it.
  • Save the unemployment compensation. Don’t fire them – simply make the working conditions intolerable enough that they’ll choose to quit!

We hope these sound appalling to you. While the extremity of some might elicit a chuckle, they aren’t science fiction. And if you have a couple of poorly performing employees and these bullets are giving you evil and creative termination ideas, call us before you do anything that could bite you later. Please.

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