HRM Essay Sample: Personnel Termination Process Related to Poor Performance

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977 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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Human resource management is a profession within the organization that requires strategy on how matters related to the employees are handled. Matters to do with the termination of a poor performer needs the human resource manager to apply skills, various approaches and strategies to ensure a smooth process for the particular employee, the rest of the staff and the organization as a whole as highlighted by Beardwell, and Thompson (2014). However, when the process is done haphazardly, the individual may experience the negative outcome, and the organization may experience legal consequence and disruption of organizational activities may be apparent. In the case of this influential employee who is popular with the other colleagues, the strategy to use is to plan appropriately the termination process such that the adverse consequences are minimized. The most appropriate approach would be communication and planning. Planning on the right time to communicate the matter of poor performance to the worker using various way from verbal to written.

Given that poor performance is not a one-time event but a series of noticeable under performance, the dismissal of this employee should also be a procedural process. Once the assessment has proved continuous wrong performance, the process that leads to termination should start. A verbal notice involves when the appraisal process reveals that the performance was low beyond the expectations and set goals. As a HR, I will ask for show-cause from the employee of which the possibility is there is not a good reason. I will then seek intervention ways to help the employee improve their performance through coaching and mentorship from other employees to ensure improved performance. However, if even after that intervention the worker does not seem to make the required progress, I will go to the next step which will involve a formal written letter explaining the situation to the employee. That poor performance is affecting the company negatively through increased costs, and reduced returns is a just cause for dismissal (Harcourt, Hannay and Lam 2013). Further, I will explain that a failure to see improved performance will eventually lead to termination. Such interventions and writing ensure that when the employee is eventually terminated that the company will not be required to compensate the employee for dismissing them and them suffering emotionally and financially. Upon realization that nothing will help the employee improve their performance, the only alternative that remains is to terminate the employment.

In the termination process, I would strive for objectivity since it's possible to get emotional whose consequences may be dire should the exiting employee seek legal counsel on cases of poor treatment or discrimination during termination. The letter should adequately explain the reason citing factual information related to performance and eventual dismissal. However, before giving the letter, there will be a brief meeting explaining what has happened and the next cause of action. As such, it is important that the meeting be scheduled with at least two people such that the other person can act as a witness should things go wary. Once I have called the employee for the meeting, I will strive to remain calm, objective and respectful which are vital interpersonal skills for the HR (Reilly and Williams, 2016). I will ensure that the meeting time and location are ideal since I do not want the employee to feel embarrassed as they exit the company. Further, I will seek a meeting room other than my office to maintain neutrality, and the meeting room should be such that few people in the organization will know of this exit. With the management, we will make it clear that the decision is final and it is not time for discussion since those opportunities granted earlier on did not bear fruits. Moreover, I will take this opportunity to gain feedback about the organization is the exit interview. Although its not guaranteed that the employee will be objective, some may provide vital information about the workplace that would help the company perform better in the future. In the interview, I will let the exiting worker understand that no negative outcome will result from an honest discussion as this will improve on objectivity. The final step would be to see off the employee when they are escorted out of the organization.

Notably, since the employee was popular among his peers, it will be essential to communicate to the remaining staff in a factual, objective and straightforward manner. The consequences of failing to disclose these will result in shockwaves that can affect performance and the rumors that any of them could be next. The reminder that their job is not always secure is something that can be difficult for them to handle. Thus, a group meeting in the department he was working is imperative providing only the essential details regarding the termination of their colleague as noted by Beach and Daly, (2015). Such an approach ensures trust ensues between the management and the employees. Additionally, the short meeting won't be the end of the communication, but one-on-one meetings are also important for the close people as well.

In conclusion, although personnel termination is one of the most difficult decisions to make, it does not have to be stressful when done strategically. Communication and planning are essential since they ensure that the dismissal process mitigates the adverse outcomes and allows a positive transition for other employees following the dismissal of a popular colleague. The how and when of communication remain an important aspect of consideration during the termination process.



Beach, L. R., & Daly, J. L. (2015). Human resource management in the public sector: Policies and practices. Routledge.

Beardwell, J., & Thompson, A. (2014). Human resource management: a contemporary approach. Pearson Education.

Harcourt, M., Hannay, M., & Lam, H. (2013). Distributive justice, employment-at-will and just-cause dismissal. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(2), 311-325.

Reilly, P., & Williams, T. (2016). Strategic HR: Building the capability to deliver. CRC Press.


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