Do your employer-employee relations need work? The recipe for a perfect marriage often proves elusive. Although a couple often enters their matrimonial bond following a prolonged relationship often characterised by mutual admiration, this doesn’t eradicate the potential for an acrimonious parting of the ways.

In 2017, there were 101,669 divorces in England and Wales. Amongst this figure, couples indicated that they’d separated after recognising that they weren’t compatible. Conversely, the longest marriages comprise couples who work well together and are mutually adaptable.

The ideal employer-employee relations mirror that of a successful marriage. Both are built on foundations of unity and suitability. When couples are ill-matched, then this often leads to an inevitable plight and a parting of the ways.

In circumstances whereby couples are faced with the unfortunate outcome of separation, there is a way whereby they can part without acrimony and begin living separate lives. Similarly, this is also the case with companies who fire employees; a parting of the ways needn’t be cut-throat and can be handled in a courtly manner.

Ending Work Relations in a Dignified Manner

It’s often the case that staff members lose their jobs and are fired questionably. Though dismissal isn’t a desirable course of action, should the need arise, it’s important to treat staff in the right way and afford them the dignity that they deserve.

If a member of staff is fired in a controversial or impersonal way, this has the potential to seriously damage the self-confidence of an individual; in some cases, an employment tribunal can ensue.

Employers should always endeavour to relieve their staff gracefully to preserve employer-employee relations, irrespective of the fact that there is rarely a ‘good way’ for a customer to be dismissed due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Nonetheless, an exit mired in controversy isn’t pleasant, therefore, apply the following to your practice when letting a member of staff go:

Respect Employee Privacy

Always put yourself in the shoes of the individual losing their job: It’d be a demeaning experience for your employee if they lost their job in front of colleagues and friends. Ensure that you approach the scenario sensitively and deliver the news to the person in suitable surroundings.

Is There Really a ‘Good Time’ to be Fired?

It’s a hot source of debate as to when the best time is to let a member of staff go; should they be given the grace of hearing the news sooner, rather than later, or should you postpone the announcement until the end of the working week?

Ultimately, there’s never a good time for anyone to lose their job. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of any decision before deciding to press ahead. For the sake of the employee, it could perhaps be beneficial to inform them of your decision sooner as soon as possible, rather than delay the inevitable.

Firing a member of staff is unpleasant for both parties, and can place your wider employer-employee relations under strain. Should you do decide to dismiss a member of staff, always facilitate a swift exit plan to ensure that the person’s pride remains intact.

Tailor Your Approach Accordingly

People are not cut from the same cloth and will have varying emotional responses to losing their job; there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach that can be implemented.

Inevitably, the colleagues of the person in question will eventually find out about their co-worker’s dismissal. Nonetheless, consult the individual and ask them how they would like the news to be communicated to the other people in the office before making assumptions.

For instance, some people would rather notify their colleagues themselves and take the opportunity to say goodbye. On the other hand, many people would prefer their boss to do this for them in a team meeting etc. in which case, sensitive information should not be divulged.

Sometimes, staff dismissals cannot be avoided. Nonetheless, while the process will be tough, the aforementioned measures are just some of the processes that can make the experience more palatable.

However, measures can be taken to minimise the probability of staff dismissals, such as attributing importance to inspiring your workforce and never underestimating the significance of an effective company recruitment policy.

Never Neglect Your Recruitment Strategy…

Similar to the way that a marriage is based upon marrying the right person, a working bond and great employer-employee relations are formed with recruiting staff who are compatible with your company.

When looking for people to join your team, always ask yourself: Is a clear, refined talent strategy in place at my company? Is the vacancy being advertised being filled by a specialist, or are you adopting a ‘square peg, round hole’ stance, in which case, recruitment strategy needs to be evaluated?

Rather than employ a person who doesn’t fulfil the necessities within the job description, ensure that people are recruited who’ll benefit your team.

Why Are Specialist Employees Essential?

Specialist employees form the core of successful business plans. Failing to appoint specialists will often prohibit company growth and success.

Ultimately, employees are the face of your company. They’re entrusted with customer relations and are essential in the delivery of quality. A poor recruitment policy will often generate mediocre performance and a turnover of employees.

Talent strategy will attract higher-calibre workers who can be utilised to greater effect, thus improving business performance and decreasing the likelihood of company dismissals.

Recruitment Essentials

Contrary to widespread misconceptions, there’s more to a recruitment process than merely listing a vacancy and waiting for responses; there are multiple facets that must be completed to ensure that the right person is employed at your company. You can find more on what makes a good candidate selection process here. When recruiting for any position, regardless of whether the job is junior or senior, take the following steps:

Above All Else, Keep People Happy

Of course, the need to continually enter the employment lifecycle can be evaded by maintaining your staff and boosting staff morale to consistently improve employer-employee relations.

To use the marriage analogy once more, if a husband or wife doesn’t feel appreciated, then they’ll often leave their partner; this is also applicable for disgruntled employees who will often choose to leave a company, prompting the need for new staff.

Therefore, you need to prioritise employee retention to generate a work environment whereby your staff feel inspired and motivated to work with you rather than against you; when a relationship turns sour, it has the propensity to turn nasty.

It’s vital that staff recruitment and contractual agreements are completed correctly so that employer-employee relations don’t reach a messy conclusion and working relationships don’t become fraught.

Guest Blog: From Lisa Harper, MD, Triple Three Solutions Limited. Contact +333 050 3330 or email [email protected] for further information on HR Consultancy, Talent Management, Coaching and Career Management.