Meeting to Dismiss an Employee Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Dismissal Meetings

Ways managers deal with negative effects of employee layoff

Firing employees or letting them go creates a lot of discomfort to managers (as well as to the person being 'let go'. Psychologists observe a universal tendency of managers to aim to minimize this discomfort by use of distancing and avoidance behaviors (Grunberg, Moore & Greenberg, 2006). Listed below are a few ways by which managers can take care of negative emotions that accompany employee layoff.

Treat the employee with respect. Everyone has heard of the awful tales of laidoff- individuals arriving for work, only to find their desk laden with boxes and security personnel standing nearby, or employees trying to enter their office, only to find out that locks have been replaced; or job termination through an email. Managers must treat all employees with respect, protecting each individual's dignity. Despite the fact that layoffs affect several employees, managers must treat each employee as though he/she is the sole affected person. Each individual deserves to meet with managers in private, and deserves an opportunity to pose questions, as well as be notified of transition support granted, orally as well as in writing. The news of job termination should be delivered with compassion and kindness, bearing in mind that layoffs have a compounding impact on employees' families (Varelas, n.d).

Support employees as much as possible. Offer transition support to employees. Five examples of how to do so are: 1) Redeployment: If another location or part of the firm exists that is capable of absorbing affected individuals. 2) Separation Package: Though cutbacks are generally fiscally-based, separation packages should be provided which include job transition support and financial benefits. 3) Getting in touch with other employers: Other employers should be contacted to notify them of the affected staff. 4) Take on the services of a job transition firm that has an established record of value delivery to affected persons. These firms assist lay-off affected employees in getting into suitable jobs in the best time frame. 5) Programs for Employment Assistance can facilitate employees in dealing with separation and moving on (Varelas, n.d).

Look to the future. Managers should concentrate on what happens next. The earlier managers discuss the firm's future, the earlier they can recuperate (Varelas, n.d).

Step-by-step process of conducting the dismissal meeting

Effective communication is crucial in planning and implementing layoffs. Though the information that has to be conveyed is unpleasant, employees have to learn of it directly, as well as honestly, from the company management instead of the grapevine. Telling employees that they will be laid off isn't a simple task. The manager might experience guilt and anxiety regarding the action to be taken; these feelings, however, are normal. Ensuring that employees are dealt with in a compassionate and humane manner will make the situation better for both ("Managers Communicating Lay-offs," 2009).

As a manager or supervisor, the charge of laying-off employees is one among the most stressful and difficult functions. When individuals are laid-off, more than merely income loss occurs. It may also mean loss of self-confidence, self-esteem and professional identity, as well as loss of security, daily routine, work-based community network, and purposeful activity. Prior to sitting before employees to impart to them the news of job loss, here are a few things to be considered ("Managers Communicating Lay-offs," 2009).


1. Managers should work with Labor and Employee Relations to formulate a plan regarding when and how to reveal to staff and management about imminent lay-offs.

2. Logistical considerations should be discussed, such as last working day, returning of keys, and the like.

3. It should be borne in mind that managers aren't personally at fault for the reduced time/lay-offs.

4. Employees might get angry or upset and blame managers. Such reactions should be anticipated to be able to deal with them appropriately.


Prior to arranging a termination meeting, the following should already be done:

Ensuring that all documentation that leads up to termination is in order and complete.

Consulting with the firm's employment attorney and Human Resources (HR) department.

Evaluating all physical risks posed by the confrontation.

Planning what to say, as well as how to respond to queries.

Deciding the strategy of how employees will leave the building (that is, whether they are to be escorted to their desks for collecting personal belongings or whether to arrange their delivery at a later time, etc.)

Arranging for someone else, probably from the HR department, to attend the meeting.

How to Start

The manner of breaking the news in front of employees is a determining factor of whether they will file a complaint or not. Getting directly to the issue is the best practice, using statements that suggest to employees that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss job termination. Commencing the appointment using small talk misleads employees, giving them false hopes. A professional, straightforward approach emphasizes that employees are treated with respect and dignity, by the company ("Managers Communicating Lay-offs," 2009).

What to Do

Speak privately to the worker.

Go straight to the point.

Acknowledge the contribution of the employee to the team and the organization.

Explain why lay-off is being done, in brief.

Hear out what the employee has to say, and await a response.

Explain about assistance that is available through HR.

Explain the import of appreciating benefits, as well as rehire status.

Give a lay-off letter to the employee.

Confirm separation dates.

Offer a sympathetic ear, and support; hear them out without defending yourself.

Schedule a meeting at a later time to discuss logistics, such as returning of keys.

Be present to address employee concerns and issues pertaining to lay-off.

What not to do

Involve in small talk.

Be humorous.


Justify, argue or defend.


Give the names of other employees who are also laid-off

Attempt at minimizing the situation

Personalize employee's anger

What to Say

It is difficult to inform employees that they are being laid-off; however, this is part of the responsibility of supervisors. A wide variety of common emotional reactions can be expected in notification meetings. A few ideas to conduct the meeting are as follows: Just as preparation is required for hiring interviews, preparation is also necessary for layoff meetings. Write down thoughts and rehearse them if needed. When employees come for the meeting, be compassionate and sincere in understanding their predicament; focus, however, should remain on the information to be conveyed. The news should be given, clearly and concisely. For instance, tell them that as they are aware of the severe financial cuts of the firm, the organizational departments are asked to cut-down their budgets throughout; thus, their job is being restructured or eliminated. Avoid using terms like 'might be' or 'will have to be', as it is unclear, and may sound as if room is available for negotiation, confusing the employee. Sit quietly after the announcement is made, waiting for employees to digest the news, and await their response. Afterwards, a response can be made to their reactions. Rambling out of nervousness should not take place. Any kind of emotional reactions should be anticipated ("Managers Communicating Lay-offs," 2009).

Managers shouldn't be shy about asking how employees are taking the news. While some employees may expect lay-off, others might be greatly shocked. Still others may be anxious, so managers should be ready to offer support. For those employees who might get angry, be prepared to hear them out without being on the defensive. A majority of employees will be shocked and unable to recall most of the meeting's conversation. Therefore, repeating facts in notification meetings is often effective. Some employees may have anticipated the news, being more emotionally ready. Even those who seem to be in control might actually be masking deeper feelings ("Managers Communicating Lay-offs," 2009).

Conducting meeting

Step 1) Above everything else, the employee should be treated with kindness and respect, and managers should be calm despite how employees may react. No arguments should be carried out with the employee. Be respectful and compassionate.

Step 2) The meeting should be brief and conducted in private.

Step 3) Another witness should be present, preferably from the management or HR department.

Step 4) Termination meeting, reference and benefits should be discussed in the meeting.

Step 5) Immediately after the dismissal meeting, the employee should be allowed to retrieve his/her personal belongings from their desks. Make sure to be by the employees' side, as it allows them to collect their things, and helps mitigate any claims that these items were not given to them. Also, the gesture shows respect.

Step 6) Company property like badges, uniforms, employee handbook, keys, laptops, phones, credit cards, tools and autos should be gathered from the leaving employee. It would be wise to have, or prepare, a list of all items that need to be returned. A plan should be made addressing what to do if some items are not immediately available, such as 'all items are to be turned in by X date."

Step 7) The employee should be…

Sources Used in Document:


Brown, J. (2013, August 30). 9 Steps for Conducting an Employee Termination Meeting. Retrieved May 10, 2015, from

Grunberg, L., Moore, S., & Greenberg, E.S. 2006. Managers' reactions to implementing layoffs: Relationship to health problems and withdrawal behaviors. Human Resource Management, 45(2), 159-178.

HRMA. 2012. The Impact of Forced Layoffs: How to avoid the negative consequences of laying off staff. Retrieved 10 May 2015 from:

"Managers Communicating Lay-offs" (2009) Retrieved 10 May 2015 from

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