This month, our focus is surrounding the importance of HR management, and how to handle certain issues. Churches can sometimes get into trouble because of what they don’t know. The first week was the importance of a good handbook. Next, we went over how to set your organization up to hire well. Last week, the discussion pertained to staff discipline, disputes, and harassment. Today, it’s how to say goodbye well.
“Every employee will eventually leave your organization,” says Brian. Termination is a natural and normal part of doing business. So you need to have an exit checklist in place, and have your ducks in a row.
Also, two people need to be in the room when the firing conversation happens. Human Resources and IT probably need to be aware before the firing takes place as well. To prevent a bad situation getting worse by having access to pertinent information after being fired.
Churches sometimes take the approach of not wanting to fire anyone, but we would encourage you to not have that approach. In fact, according to our host, “It’s not good stewardship to leave a person in a position they aren’t qualified for, or they are performing poorly, or they just don’t want to be there.” Remember, clarity is kindness.
Check-Ins, Files, & Plans
Check-in with your people regularly, and have a separate personnel/confidential file where these things can be stored. These files should have limited access, and the drawer probably needs to be locked. Then, during those check-ins – when necessary – create Employee Improvement Plans. Or if someone is wanting to end their time at the organization, create a successful exit plan timeline.
In last week’s episode we discussed egregious situations, in those you need to take charge and take action. For most cases, however, the process has generally been: verbal warning, first written warning, second written warning, and termination. We suggest to take that verbal warning out of the equation, always have written communication on what is going on, and keep that in the confidential file.
Now, let’s move into your options around separating. Instead of just firing, maybe a severance agreement is in order. Separation Agreements could be a necessary when you give a gift at the end of their job well. This could be when something of value is exchanged with the agreement of not-suing the organization. Give the employee time to look over the agreement and encourage legal counsel to look over the document.
According to our guest, “As of last week, non-disclosures and severance agreements just got more complicated. If you already have a template you use, now is a great time to update that document with your lawyer.”
How do you know when it’s time to fire someone? We use the 5 C’s Method:
“Terminations never get easier.” – Brian. They are still necessary, but they don’t get easier, so hang in there.
Need help with something that was mentioned today? Reach out to OutrightHR for potential help in the areas of employee disputes and harassment cases.
Join us next week as start a new series on Insurance.
Special thanks to our guest, Brian Huston, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this final episode in our Human Resources series.