How to Let an Employee Go

Letting an employee go is a very sensitive process. It needs to be done correctly to protect yourself and your business.  You want to make sure that you follow a detailed process, have HR involved, and stay consistent.  Below you will find several points that will help you to develop your own termination process and let an employee go the right way.

Give the employee time to improve

Make sure you have given the employee time to improve before you make the final decision. You never want an employee to feel blindsided by their termination. Give them a heads up on what they are doing and what they need to approve upon to keep their job.

Get everything in order

Have a list ready of what needs to be returned, how to leave the building, how long the employee will have benefits for, and have their last check ready if the law in your state requires you to have a paper check ready.

Choose the proper day, time, and place

Choose a day early in the week. NEVER let go of someone on a Friday. Choose a time when the business will be least impacted. A time when the office is less full like during lunch, early in the morning, or during a meeting could be best. Have the discussion in a private office not out in the open.

Facts not feelings

Stick to the facts. Your feelings toward the employee have nothing to do with the decision. Don’t attack them and be sure to follow the laws specific to your area as far as notice and severance pay goes.

Protect your business

DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT! Be sure you were clear on company rules, expectations, and position requirements as well as their infractions and disciplinary policies. This will help protect you from a lawsuit and protect your company from negative feedback.

Don’t do it alone

Be sure you are not the only person in the room. An HR co-worker would be best for this. If you do not have a dedicated HR person, be sure to have other personnel in the room with you. This helps ease things and makes sure you are protected as well. Again, this is an emotional and sensitive process and you need to be sure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself and your company.

This shouldn’t be a surprise

Termination should never be a surprise, they should see it coming and should have had constant and real-time feedback from you every step of the way. They should understand what they have done wrong or what was not working. Lawsuits come when the employee is blindsided.

Be consistent

You want to be sure that you are consistent in your process, if you let go of someone for being late on half of his days with the company, then you need to make sure you are holding all of your employees to the same standard. Don’t drag out the process, be clear and concise with your decision and end it quickly.

Be honest

It’s OK to fire an employee for not being the right fit, just make sure that when you do so you are honest about why you are letting them go. Don’t makeup HR violations when there aren’t any. Just be honest that it’s not working out for either party involved and it’s best to end it sooner rather than later.

Do a self-assessment

Look at your hiring process, training, and development as well as your support system you have in place for your new hires. Make sure there is not a pattern of negative behavior in the candidates you are hiring. Be sure you have the best possible process in place to hire and develop your newer people.

Again, this is a sensitive process with a lot of emotion in play. It’s something that no one enjoys. Prepare yourself and stick to your company’s processes. Protect yourself and your company every step of this way. Follow the steps here and you will do just that.


How To Quit Without Burning Bridges

There are few things more exciting and gratifying than accepting a new job. Hopefully, it’s a move that will advance your career and increase your compensation. However, before getting settled into your new home you need to resign from your current one. Quitting a job can be a daunting task to undertake but it doesn’t have to be. Follow our tips below to ensure that you leave the right way.

Give Two Weeks Notice

Work with your manager to create a plan for transitioning you out of your position. You may need to help with moving projects onto the respective plates of your co-workers. Some companies will want your assistance training others to take on some of your responsibilities. Be flexible here and do everything you can to leave your boss and team in a manageable position.

Tell Your Boss In-Person

Offer your resignation directly to your manager. This needs to be done face-to-face. Let him or her know that you’re leaving. It’s up to you if you want to provide a reason for your decision or details about your new role. Be clear and direct during your conversation. Do everything you can to keep the discussion positive.

Express Gratitude

Make it clear to your boss and co-workers how thankful you are to have been a part of the team. Focus on the positives. Be grateful for all the lessons you’ve learned and the experience you’ve gained in your soon-to-be former role.

Don’t Gossip

Don’t give your manager one reason for your departure and tell your co-workers a different reason. Stay consistent and positive. Stick to the truth and never bad mouth anyone on your way out the door.

Beware the Counteroffer

In the vast majority of cases, a counteroffer is a bad idea. The reasons for the employee’s decision to leave aren’t likely to change quickly. The additional compensation you may be offered only serves as a band-aid for the real issues at play. Plus, employers always remember your initial reason for leaving, and often resentment takes root.

Exit Interview

Many companies will put you through an exit interview. This may seem like a confidential, HR-guided process where you can give honest feedback and critiques. It’s not that, so don’t be fooled. It’s highly likely that harsh words said during the exit interview will get back to people and be perceived by some as bad-mouthing the company on your way out. Keep things light, positive, and vague during your exit interview.


How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Most people dread the in-person job interview. Even the thought of an interview is enough to throw some into a tailspin of anxiety. What do you wear? What do you bring? How do you answer those tough questions? We at PromoPlacement completely understand and are here to help. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to prepare yourself for the interview.

Research The Organization

The very first thing you want to do in preparation is to research the company you will be interviewing with. Check out the company’s website. Read the “About Us” section and get a feel for who they are, what they are about, and when they were founded. Find something that speaks to you that you can slip into conversation.

Talk to someone who already works there or find someone on LinkedIn who is currently working in the position you will be interviewing for. See how they describe the position and find something you like about it. This will help you speak more to what the hiring manager may be looking for.

Package Your Positives

Go into the interview with a game plan. Select 2-4 key points about your experience and background that you want to make very clear to the interviewer. Reiterate these often. These points should tie into both the business goals of the company and the hiring goals of the manager. They should be specific and spell out exactly why you are the right person for the job.

Package Your Negatives

Many candidates have some shortcomings or weaknesses within their career history. Maybe you have had a 3-month gap in employment or maybe your formal management experience is lacking. Whatever the issue is, be prepared to address it. Plan out in advance how you are going to explain it should it come up in the interview. It’s best to keep it brief. Explain it and move on to the next topic.

What To Wear

Keep it neutral and conservative. If you are wearing a dress, be conscious of the length, color, and cut. Be sure you stay professional top to bottom. If you are wearing a suit, be sure the jacket and pants match as well as the shoes. If you are instructed that the office is “business casual” be mindful. Keep your look professional, this may mean not wearing a full suit, but rather wearing a button-down with dress pants. Remember you are trying to impress.

Remember to dress for the job you want not the job you have. Even if you are interviewing for a customer service job behind a desk and a phone, you still want upward mobility, and the best way to ensure that you have it is to show them right off the bat that you’re a professional.

What To Bring

Bring extra copies of your resume in some type of folder to keep them clean and neat. Bring a notepad or professional binder and a pen. Keep everything neat and professional. Read our “11 Essential Things to Take to Your Interview” blog post for more details.

First Impressions

Sit up straight. Carefully control how you react to the interviewer and do your best to keep positive facial expressions. Remember that your first impression starts when you pull into the parking lot, so be friendly to everyone you see and meet. Make it clear that you’re actively listening to your interviewer by keeping good eye contact.

Keep Responses Simple

Be sure not to over-share. No one needs to hear your life story in an interview and no one wants to hear you ramble on about unrelated areas of interest. Keep your answers short and concise. Speak clearly and with meaning. You don’t need to use big words in your interview. Just speak to what you know and be yourself.

Always Ask Questions

Every interview ends with “Do you have any questions?” Always have questions. The number one question we recommend to our candidates is “Do you have any doubts about me taking this job?” This is where you can get an idea of where they feel you may fall short and take the opportunity to ease their doubts.  Other questions you can ask are “What do you expect of someone within the first 90 days of taking this position?” or “What are the next steps?”. Never ask about compensation, benefits, or PTO in the first interview. Those details will clarify themselves later in the process.

Send A “Thank You”

Send a “thank you” note or email to the person you interviewed with. Be sure to include why you want the position and why you feel you would be an asset to their company. This can make you stand out from all other candidates because this is the one step most people forget. I’ve seen it make the difference between getting the job or not.

The in-person job interview doesn’t have to be stressful or nerve-wracking.  Be confident in yourself and your abilities. Believe in yourself, prepare diligently, and you’ll stand out from the pack.

For more information on interview preparation read our article on the “11 Essential Things to Take to Your Interview”.


10 Tips To Help You Win Every Negotiation

Possessing strong negotiating skills can make a big difference in your career. It can help you earn more money, achieve a higher status, and reach your business goals.

Despite the myriad of benefits, very few people are good negotiators. Why is this the case? Well, many people are too worried about being pushy to embrace a strong negotiating stance. However, negotiating is nothing to be afraid of; when it is done well, it doesn’t come off as pushy at all.

Although strong negotiating skills are not something that most people are born with, these skills can definitely be learned and developed over time. All that is required to improve your skills is an understanding of the basics and the courage to practice in real-life situations.

In a nutshell, negotiating is about protecting the value that you provide to others.  Think of negotiating as…

  • a simple process to follow
  • a thoughtful interaction with another person
  • a way to determine even better solutions

Follow the ten tips below, and you will master the basics and be well on your way to becoming a negotiating powerhouse.

Do your homework

Research the topic and think through your options before you initiate the discussion.

Clearly define your goals

Prior to the discussion, make sure you are clear on what you want as well as your “walk-away” point (the minimum outcome you’re willing to accept).

Determine the best timing for the discussion

You’ll want to plan enough time for the discussion and to hold it when all parties are relaxed and calm.

Ask for what you want

Don’t be afraid to explain your needs and what you’d like the outcome to be. However, be sure to do so calmly and in a non-confrontational tone of voice.

See the situation from all angles

Try to understand where the other person is coming from; try asking them to tell you about their needs and key concerns.

Listen, listen, and listen some more

Spend more time listening than talking during the discussion.

Find a creative solution

Think win/win, not that someone must walk away a winner and the other a loser. There’s nothing wrong with working together to determine creative ways to meet the needs of both parties.

Remain calm and avoid getting emotional

The more emotional you become, the more clouded your thinking will be. Keep it logical.

Avoid finger-pointing

Focus on the issues, not on personalities. Be pleasant and never make it personal.

Remember that there will always be a tomorrow

If the discussion heads in a negative direction and tempers flare, it’s okay to recommend picking up the discussion on another day after everyone has an opportunity to take a step back, relax, and think.

Don’t be afraid, embrace the process, and start practicing your negotiating skills today!

For more information on negotiations read our article on the “Job Offer Negotiation for Employees“.