The Dreaded 'T' Word: Termination

Terminating an employee for any reason can be a very stressful and unpleasant situation and it can even be somewhat overwhelming, even a bit confusing… written notice, termination pay, progressive discipline, termination for cause, without cause. So many things to know and understand.

Take it step by step:
Proper preparation prior to the termination can get you prepared for what is to come but it also helps ensure that the employee leaves with dignity and helps mitigate risk to your practice.

Now sometimes, it is necessary to eliminate a position that has become redundant or you may have to lay off employees due to business slowdowns. Other times, terminations may be due to poor performance or inappropriate conduct. Regardless of the reason, it is important to terminate the business relationship in a professional manner, with appropriate notice, and in a way that meets at least, the minimum legislative requirements for your province/state.

An employee who is wrongfully terminated or terminated without cause and not provided with an appropriate notice period (or payment in lieu), will now have reason to initiate legal action to recover the monies owing, or to contact an employment standards officer to open an investigation. Which is something I am sure you would not like to happen!
It's much better to understand the appropriate way to handle terminations within your workplace so that you avoid any type of litigation or investigation in the first place.

Terminations caused by poor performance: Some employers will avoid conflict as long as possible and will continue putting up with inappropriate conduct or poor performance from an employee, rather than starting the disciplinary process. Having a disruptive employee, or someone who does not seem to pull their weight, can begin to have a negative effect on the rest of the staff; and that is something you do not want! When employees see that an underperforming colleague is allowed to continue down such a path, the rest of your staff may become resentful and it can result in lower productivity and higher turnover.
Poor performance or inappropriate conduct should be addressed as soon after the incident as possible, or upon noticing deteriorating performance. In some cases, working with the employee can help to turn things around without having to take further disciplinary action.

However, if the results are still not acceptable, it is critical to act quickly, document all discussions, and adhere to legislated requirements for your jurisdiction before terminating employment.

Cover the basics:
1. When an employee is hired, it is important to have them sign an employment agreement.  This contract will clearly outline information that outlines roles, expectations, salaries, probationary period and termination provisions.
2. Conduct regular performance reviews to provide feedback, guidance and create an action plan for areas of improvement.
3. If there is a cause for progressive discipline it must be documented to show you provided enough opportunity & guidance for them to improve.
4. If at that point, things are not improving you must contact an HR professional for advice to ensure that your documentation and process is appropriate to minimize your risk.

If you proceed with deciding to terminate- it does not end there!

There are series of steps you still need to take to ensure everything is done correctly the day of. We can’t stress this enough! The decision to terminate should never be taken lightly. If not handled properly, it can also result in expensive litigation. This is not a position you would want to find yourself in.

We have put together a termination checklist for you to download. It walks you through what needs to be done the day of termination.  Visit:  
Stream Dental understands that you have a lot on your plate, as the owner of a growing Dental Practice, usually having little or no in-house Human Resource expertise! Our new services allow us to become your virtual HR department. Offering human capital solutions that provide the greatest impact on workplace productivity, employee engagement & retention and help you grow your business with the right people and processes.
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8 Ways to Create a Positive Work Environment

We are at work for roughly 8+ hours a day. Over 40 hours per week. That’s 160+ hours a month. Ok- you get the point. We spend a lot of our time at work. If we are spending that much time at work, we need to make the best of it and do our part to make it a positive atmosphere. Here are 8 ways we can create a positive work environment.

Say what you mean

If you are having an issue with a co-worker, bring it up with that individual directly. Don't go behind their back and start talking bad things about them. Bring up the issue so it can be dealt with and hopefully get it resolved. It is not fun working in a work environment where there is tension between co-workers.

Give praises in public

We all like to be told when we are doing a good job. If you have something nice to say about an employee/co-worker, make sure you say it publicly if you want to recognize them for their hard work. But make sure if you want to bring up something they need to work on; to do that in private. No one wants to be called out in front of their co-workers. Praise much more frequently than you criticize. Encourage praise and recognition from employee to employee as well as from the supervisor.

Actions speak louder than words

Be sure your actions "say" what you want them to. Most people can get a sense if you are being fake. Say and do what you mean. Be aware of your body language, the tone of voice, and your demeanor and expression in all of your interactions at work.

Be Respectful

Be Respectful

Be respectful

Be respectful of everyone. Everyone has a different job that they do and something different they bring to the team. Showing respect for everyone goes a long way. Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.

Create performance goals

Whether your company does performance reviews or not, it is a good idea to set goals for yourself. Make sure the goals are challenging but attainable. Monitor your performance and be ready to explain what you have done. These would be great to bring up to your boss to show that you want to learn and grow in your role.

Seek input from employees/co-workers

It is a great idea to get input from others. Use people’s ideas to change or improve work. Let employees know you used their idea, or, better yet, encourage the person with the idea to implement the idea.

Ask for suggestions

Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas. From suggestions on how to improve business operations to where the next team lunch should be. People want to feel included and by asking them what they think is a great way to get people to offer their suggestions.

There are many other ways to create a positive work environment. The point is to work together as a team to make it a good place to work. Everyone has their part in making work a great place to be.