Is there a better and more humane way to fire workers?
The Wall Street Journal reports a reckoning of sorts is underway in human resources departments as executives ponder how best to terminate staffers, remaining sensitive to their needs while avoiding the potential for a conflict—or even violence.
The risk was made clear again in February when a worker who had just been fired killed five people at a factory in Aurora, Illinois. The violent incident prompted HR practitioners to re-evaluate their policies and reach out to peers for advice, says John Baldino, president of human resources consulting firm Humareso and head of a Society for Human Resources Management chapter near Philadelphia.
Much is up for debate, including the proper day to let an employee go, whether to have security escorts present and how long to maintain a fired worker’s benefits as a way to help smooth rattled nerves, companies and consultants say.
Conventional wisdom long held that Fridays were the best time to lay off staffers since the day frequently coincided with the end of a pay period and gave workers a weekend to gather their thoughts.
Now, some say end-of-week firings should be avoided. When Bubba Fatula, a former law-enforcement official who is director of threat preparedness at Gittings Protective Security Inc., conducts active-shooter training for HR staffers, he advises them to conduct terminations midweek. Letting a person go on a Wednesday gives them time to contact other employers and look for work during business hours the following days, he says. Read the full story.