An employer has three questions to consider before terminating an employee such as;
1. Can the situation be rectified with structure?
2. How severe is the offense?
3. Can we give the employee a chance to right current wrongs in performance and conduct?
If an organization decides to terminate an employee, the leaders within the organization must have comprehensive documentation detailing why the termination should take place, and what disciplinary course of action was used to forewarn the employee of consequences he or she is facing as a result of his or her unacceptable employee conduct. All terminations should remain within the confines of what is a legally acceptable form of dismissal such as; (1) violation of company policies, (2) the employee is unable to perform the necessary tasks as mandated by the organization, and (3) the organization is downsizing due to economic uncertainty (Lisoski, 2008).
Documentation will be a collective account (from management) of mishaps (from employees) within the organization such as; frequent absences, tardiness, unprofessional demeanor within and around the workplace; unethical code of conduct, etc. All organizations provide employees with an acceptable amount of approved absences via medical sick leave, vacation time, and personal leave; it is therefore in the employee's best interest to function according to what is allowable unless unforeseen circumstances occur. However, employees who tend to abuse the system with evident instability must require immediate action. Terminating an employee is never an easy task but a necessary one in order to rid the organization of "dead weight" so to speak. When terminating an employee there are several factors to consider such as; legal and ethical implications associated with termination. It has been stated that the employee (in the scenario) currently has an unreliable child care situation, therefore it is managements duty to ensure that termination is based primarily on job performance and lack of productivity and not based on child care issues and parenting obligations. It is the organizations primary objective to prove that the employee's departure from this organization will render a significant benefit in which case the organization will be advantageous to resume organizational operations at the desired capacity. Given the nature of this type of termination proceedings, management must also understand the severity of terminating an employee in regards to reducing staff members that creates an uneven distribution of work on the remaining staff members; in other words terminating the employee will cause the remaining employees to take on more responsibilities at the cost of working extensive hours to maintain productivity which poses an unfair advantage on the most valuable workers.
Terminating an employee must be fair and within the confines of what is legally acceptable depending on the state in which the termination takes place. "The basis for an employer to terminate an employee without being sued is the employment-at-will doctrine. This doctrine is a statement that is signed by both the employee and employer at the time of hire that states that the employee can quit at any time for any reason without notice and that the employer can terminate the employee at any time for any legal reason" (Erickson, 2011). In addition to alleviating the organization of an unreliable employee, management must make sure that the transitional process is a smooth one. Assuming that management has no further desire to offer the employee an opportunity to redeem him or herself the only alternative is to relieve the employee of her contractual obligations to the organization.
Management's decision to terminate an employee must be handled in a professional manner yet courteous as well. Organizations have implemented a Progressive Disciplinary Action (PDA) method for several years and are currently improving on this particular business model. The purpose of PDA is to allow the employee to get their act together. Termination is both difficult to the employee as well as employer and if an employee is serious about remaining gainfully employed, communication (verbal and/or written) will be all it takes to reduce or eliminate substandard performance. In retrospect, management is required by law to offer fair warning before terminating an employee to prevent unlawful termination practices. PDA is comprised up of five categorical factors such as;
Employee performance evaluation-management should conduct an informal evaluation method that enables an open dialogue from management to employee. The objective is to determine if the employee fully understands his or her current obligations to the firm and fully understands his or her rights and responsibilities as an active participant within the company's organizational structure. Unfortunately employees become employed with an organization not knowing the minimum requirements of employments. An evaluation will open the door for communicating with the employee of his or her job performance and what can be improved upon. Management will be able to articulate corporate processes and codes of conduct to ensure that the employee completely understands what is expected of him or her. The evaluation informs the employee that his or her current behavior is unacceptable and inappropriate for the current organization.