Discipline and Termination: How to Avoid the Mistakes That Get You Sued


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Disciplining and terminating employees is part of every managers job. When such situations are handled correctly you resolve problems quickly, get willing workers back on track and remove those who would be better off in another job.

Unfortunately, many managers and supervisors haven't mastered the art of effective employee discipline and termination. Their intentions are good but they too often make avoidable mistakes that lead to escalated conflict, low morale and possible employee brought lawsuits.

The kit contains 3 complete training modules

  1. How to Terminate Poor Performers Without Provoking a Lawsuit
  2. How to Terminate an Insubordinate Employee Without Provoking a Lawsuit
  3. Progressive Discipline: The "Career Advocate" Method for Salvaging Endangered Employees

Each of the 3 topics in this kit includes:

  • The short-form "Quick Take" video learning module
  • Handouts for following along and taking notes
  • Discussion Guide to help direct meaningful follow up conversation and reinforce the message
  • Summary Sheet participants can hang by their desks for quick review
  • Quiz  to reinforces the training and allows you to track how well people internalized the concept

Why "Quick Take" modules?

Short-form: Just six to 10 minutes long. Today's adult learners can't sit for extended periods of time absorbing training material.

Single-Concept: Teaching people just one concept at a time vastly increases the likelihood that learning will be retained and deployed successfully. Each program delivers a single "aha moment".

Research-based: Learners that perceive their training as credible drives a higher level of behavior change.

The research says you’ll get high engagement and high knowledge retention if you structure training events in short segments that focus on one, research-based concept, not three, or four or five.

Here’s a summary of what you’ll learn in each of the modules:

How to Terminate Poor Performers Without Provoking a Lawsuit (9:35)

On the surface, terminating an employee for poor performance seems like a no-brainer. It’s nothing personal. The worker just isn’t getting it done and would be better off in another job. But even when a termination is 100% justifiable, managers must be extremely careful how they conduct themselves. Terminations, no matter how clear cut, are legal minefields. In this Quick Take you’ll learn the #1 managerial oversight that gives terminated employees traction in a lawsuit, the most common mistake supervisors make during the actual termination conversation, the main reason terminated employees sue and a blueprint for terminating employees in a way vastly reducing the likelihood you’ll get sued.

How to Terminate an Insubordinate Employee Without Provoking a Lawsuit (8:41)

When insubordinate or troublesome employees push you too far, it’s tempting to fire them on the spot. But acting rashly can get you into a world of legal trouble. Employees fired abruptly are far more likely to sue than those who are given warning. This Quick Take will help you avoid the traps that surround “knee-jerk” terminations. You’ll learn: When you should, and shouldn’t, fire an insubordinate employee on the spot, the one thing NOT to do when terminating an insubordinate employee, and three termination guidelines that lower your risk.

Progressive Discipline: The "Career Advocate" Method for Salvaging Endangered Employees (8:21)

Managers often see the stages of progressive discipline as the opening acts leading up to firing of an employee. They focus on creating a paper trail to protect against potential lawsuits. But too many managers overlook the positive role progressive discipline can play, and they miss out on opportunities to change behavior and salvage employees who are worth trying to keep. That’s the main subject of this Quick Take, which will explore what managers can do to maximize the likelihood that “endangered” employees will turn themselves around.