Managing remote employment termination through video conferencing

Managing remote employment termination through video conferencing

The loss of a job is never easy – whichever way the termination is delivered. However, in more recent weeks there has been a significant amount of media attention on the concerns of remote termination via video conference call. Some may see this as a very impersonal/harsh method of laying off an employee but in the light of the current pandemic and with the rising number of remote workers, perhaps this is the only viable solution. If an HR decides to use this method as a last resort, they should consider the following points to make an employee’s experience a little less traumatic.

–  While remote termination is becoming more common, emails should not be used to convey the message of an employee’s end of service. At the very least, video conferencing allows for live to-way conversations to take place which is a far more respectful alternative to an email which conveys little empathy.

–  Employers must consider the time of day they decide to deliver the employment termination via conference call. Remote and global employees all live in different time zones, so be considerate of where they are living. It always comes highly recommended to share the news with your workers Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

–  When addressing this issue with an employee, their country of residence must be taken into consideration. Ensure that the termination delivered is aligned with local laws and requirements.

–  Employers should be prepared to provide the appropriate information to the employee which includes the termination date, final paycheck and benefits.

–  An in-person meeting can provide a more efficient way of finalizing termination formalities. However, if need be, make sure all relevant issues are discussed including return of contact lists, project files and return of company equipment which may include mobile devices and laptops.

–  User adoption of video conferencing will determine the type of experience you create in such situations. The body language and tone of voice should be worked on so that a rigid style does not contribute to more tension in the two-way conversation. You should work on conveying amiable and sincere facial expressions. Maintain good eye contact at all times with your employee. Any low-level eye contact may give the impression that you are not actively listening or fully engaged in the conference call.