From the Ask Tom mailbag –
Is it common practice for HR to be directly involved in the termination of an employee?
This question speaks to the larger role for HR in any organization. And, while some things may be common practice, common practice may often create problems.
It is an excellent idea to include HR in all processes related to de-selection and termination. There are several compliance issues related to continuance of health insurance, severance conditions and eligibility for unemployment compensation. Often these issues require specific documents and sequence that I do NOT expect managers to be expert on. Managers need to have a sound understanding, but I do not expect them to be expert.
I do not expect HR to be the “hatchet.” In the same way that managers are accountable for selection, they are also accountable for de-selection and termination.
In ALL cases, managers should be actively coached by their manager on all things related to the team. That active coaching is NOT an event, but a constant, scheduled conversation about workforce requirements, utilization, team capacity and individual capability within the team.
In the instance of termination, my rule is “two sets of eyes.” The manager and the manager-once-removed must agree on termination. A third set of eyes, from HR, is always a good idea to make sure the process is conducted within established guidelines.