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HR Mastery

It’s time to sign up for the 2017 HR Mastery Group! That’s where I facilitate a small group of HR professionals who meet monthly for one year to discuss key HR topics,
interact with guest speakers and grow our HR skills and knowledge.

For one annual fee you receive the following:

  • HRx hotline – Free access to me throughout the year for phone consultations related to any HR question or issue you may encounter
  • 2-hour monthly meetings, with custom selected topics based on your group’s interests
  • Email and phone access to your HR Mastery team
  • Laughter, support and practical information you can use immediately

If you’re interested and want more detailed information, please email me at Arlene@ArleneVernon.com or call me at 952.996.0975.

Supervising Smart Series

Based on the interest I received from my October newsletter, I’ll be conducting 12 open-to-the-public sessions of management training in 2017! The topics were
selected by those who responded to the October survey.

These 2-hour sessions will be from 10:00 am – Noon the 4th Tuesday of each month (except for the 3rd week in December). Sessions will be held at Tierney Brothers’ brand new training facility at 1771 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul (the old the Saint Paul Saints location).

If you sign up for all 12 sessions, the cost is $700 (you can swap attendees). Or you can sign up for individual sessions at $70 each. I’ll be sending out a link for registration in December. But if you want to reserve your spot, email me. The group will be limited to 50 attendees.

Here’s the schedule:

  • 1/24/17 – Enhancing My Leadership Skills
  • 2/28/17 – Creating a Positive Workplace Culture
  • 3/28/17 – Communication Skills
  • 4/25/17 – Coaching and Giving Performance Feedback
  • 5/23/17 – Designing Solid Interview Questionnaires
  • 6/27/17 – Delegation and Accountability
  • 7/25/17 – Managing Difficult Employees
  • 8/22/17 – Employee Engagement
  • 9/26/17 – Employee Discipline and Documentation
  • 10/24/17 – Handling Employee Terminations
  • 11/28/17 – Building Effective Teams
  • 12/19/17 – Conflict Resolution

I hope to see you there!

Termination Tips

Arlene Vernon

This month our HR Mastery group discussed each organization’s approach to various aspects of terminating employees and I conducted Termination Training “To Fire or Not To Fire” for another group. So, it’s only fitting to mention a few items related to some best practices surrounding those times when the best option for the organization is to dismiss an employee.

As at-will employers, we can terminate for any reason as long as that reason is not illegal. So, you must be cautious to ensure that the decision to terminate is not discriminatory based on any State or Federal protected classes. While few employers terminate without careful consideration, make sure that you’re not terminating someone who:

  • just requested medical leave
  • is pregnant
  • is on Workers’ Compensation
  • who just disclosed a physical or mental disability, etc.

Be certain the person is truly being terminated for a reason that is job related and not personal.

Once you’ve made the decision to terminate, it’s important to strategize your approach. There’s no “perfect” time or day to terminate. Timing considerations can include these questions:

  • When might be least embarrassing for the individual or the fewest people in the office?
  • Is the issue is so severe that you need to terminate immediately?
  • When are you and a second person are available to conduct the meeting (always have a witness)?

If you wait several days to terminate and the termination is due to a policy violation, it’s likely that you will not win your unemployment claim. The judges evaluate the seriousness of the termination based on how swift you respond.

The termination meeting should be brief. It’s not typically a dialogue allowing the employee to defend why they should not be terminated. That discussion would typically have occurred when they were coached and/or disciplined for prior offenses. You want to get right to the point of the discussion, briefly explain the reason, head into explaining pay, benefits and collecting company property. I know this seems abrupt, so be respectful but don’t drag out the process.

Lastly, you want to exit the person respectfully. My recommendation is to allow the employee to get their immediate personal belongings and walk them out. Rather than sit there and oversee them packing up their desk, etc. I would tell the employee that their personal belongings will be packed and delivered to their home. That minimizes embarrassing the employee and/or dragging out the process.

While many of us avoid and dislike terminations, there are respectful ways to handle these difficult situations.

©2016 Arlene Vernon

About Arlene

Arlene has provided HR consulting and management training services to over 500 organizations since starting HRx, Inc. in 1992.

If you’re seeking a hands-on, practical HRxpert to assist your organization with employee relations, policy development, strategic HR activities or fun/doable management training, call on Arlene – Your HRxpert.

If you’re planning a conference, seminar or special event, Arlene specializes in keynotes, seminars and workshops to meet your talent management needs. And if you’re seeking a more lively entertaining activity, Arlene’s custom songs and musical-inspirational keynote may be perfect for your organization!

HRx, Inc., Eden Prairie, MN 55344, 952.996.0975


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