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Remote Terminations and Company Property: What HR Managers Need to Know
July 12, 2021
Remote Terminations Should Be Done with Respect and Professionalism
With the rise and sudden shift of remote work across the world, remote terminations have become more common within these working environments. Technology companies and marketing agencies, insurance, finance, and telecommunications entities were forced out of the office and into remote settings with little to no warning during the pandemic. Remote work is likely to stay in some capacity, creating a long list of challenges for HR professionals.
While no employee enjoys being let go, HR managers can use several strategies and best practices to ensure that terminated employees are treated properly, and that company property is returned safely. With the nature of remote work, HR managers are best to understand that they will ultimately be relying on the cooperation of the terminated employee to return company property in a timely manner.
HR managers should try to strike a balance between compassion and professionalism during the termination. The more fairly and respectfully a terminated employee is treated, the more likely they are to return company property. How HR can address the complications of a remote termination will likely determine the success rate of obtaining company property from remote professionals.
Remote Terminations and Retrieving Company Property
Obtaining company hardware, including laptops, cell phones, printers, and other devices from professionals that work from home, begins with the termination itself. Terminations are never pleasant, but with a little extra effort and compassion from HR, the company itself should successfully retrieve company hardware without any issue.
First, respect the individual, and consider that calling a remote employee into the office just to be terminated might be in bad taste. Remote professionals are now often located in many different locations, and professionals might feel as though their time has been wasted by being called into the office just to be sent home quickly after. Instead, consider making the termination itself as straight to the point as possible. Sometimes remote employees can react negatively; ensure you attempt to be calm and honest.
Also, consider that terminations over video calls might be the best and most respectful option for HR managers. A simple phone call might come off as cold and unprofessional, while email terminations can prompt anger from the individual.
Further, consider the time of day along with the day of the week in which the termination takes place. It might not be important to the managers, but terminations at the end of the day on a Friday might be considered in bad taste. In contrast, Monday morning allows workers to gather their thoughts and immediately begin searching for new work either the same day or the day after.
Remote Terminations: Returning Company Property Without Issues
Many HR managers will find success in obtaining company property by promptly delivering any severance pay and required documentation as soon as possible. Outline that the company will organize the return of company property, and there is no cost to the employee. HR can send a shipping box to their home and allow for pick up the following day. Should there be any issues, it is HR’s responsibility to communicate with the terminated employee and follow up with the return of the company property. Polite communication via email is the best course of action, and if former employees don’t return emails within five business days, HR can explore other options.
Ultimately the failure to return company property to an employer could constitute theft, and police can solicit the return of stolen property to its rightful owners. Keep in mind that filing a police report could further exacerbate negative feelings and may not be the best course of action. HR should do its best to consider the feelings of terminated employees while balancing the interests of the company.
Remote Terminations and HR Resources Offered by ISB Global Services
ISB is highly experienced in addressing the many needs of HR professionals working in remote environments. Our long list of service offerings can simplify the background check process for any small to medium-sized business, helping to ensure the quality of your workforce.
Our solutions for HR managers include validating a candidate’s identity, performing a full background check, criminal and financial record checks, and document verification. ISB can help HR managers effectively check large amounts of candidates to help ensure the quality of your workforce.
Contact us directly to learn more about our suite of HR-related solutions and help your business take the next step into remote recruiting and terminations.