Moving on After Saying Goodbye: Keeping up Employee Morale After a Termination

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Saying goodbye to a member of your team is never easy, especially when you find your hand forced and facing the choice of terminating their employment. Regardless of the circumstances behind the departure, terminating an employee is far from enjoyable, and without a proper plan in place, the disruption can negatively affect the whole team. In order to minimize the impact caused by a sudden change, taking care to reassure your staff and build a positive path forward is essential. At Pivot HR, we know that navigating dismissals can be tricky and that protecting employee morale is crucial for success. Below, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to minimize the negative effects of an employee being fired, and how to maintain trust among the rest of the team. Read on to learn more!

Realign Your Vision and Culture

Whether you’re losing someone new or a long-term member of your organization, the sudden departure of a colleague is bound to shake things up a little. To help everyone feel more settled, take the time to reaffirm the vision and goals of your business or organization, and show how everyone plays an important part in creating the culture that will carry the entire team forward to success.

Explain the Departure (Within Reason)

Legality prevents employers from going into detail about the reasons for an employee’s dismissal, and you should bear this strongly in mind should you face any direct questions or inquiries from team members. With that being said, depending on the cause of termination, you may be able to use it as a teachable moment that communicates the core values and drive behind your organization. Without getting into specifics or talking about the employee directly, you might be able to find an appropriate way of discussing things openly and alleviating the natural “mystery” that tends to follow an abrupt departure.

Empathize and Support

It’s important to remember that when you lose a team member, your staff are also losing a peer, mentor, and in many cases a workplace friend. Make sure you have an open door and your team knows that you are open to hearing any and all concerns, as long as they are communicated appropriately. Give extra support to team members that may be taking on additional work during a transition period, and ensure that everyone knows you have a clearly laid out plan in place to get things back on track.

Praise Your Team

While you should always show appreciation for your staff, it’s even more crucial to do so after losing a team member. Make sure everyone feels heard, validated and supported, and that they know how much you value your contribution to your team. As mentioned above, be sure to support anyone taking on extra work, and once the transition phase is complete, be sure to reward them for their help.

Positive Forward Motion

One of the most important things to do after dismissing a team member is to immediately focus on building a positive path forward. Don’t let any negativity linger and focus on factors that everyone can work towards to increase cohesion and remove any lasting issues that may have begun to fester. While saying goodbye is always hard, it’s important to remember that every change presents us with an incredible opportunity to do better, become a closer team, and build the foundation for the success we all deserve!

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