Writing Termination Letters Due to Poor Performance

In the workplace, there will be times where you will find yourself dealing with employees who might not be doing their job well or are struggling to keep up with the demands of the work they have. In deciding what the necessary actions you must take for the particular employee, you have to first give them a warning letter and have a face-to-face meeting. Should you find that he/she is having some improvements, encouragements will definitely be a big factor to make the improvements continuous.

However, if several warnings have already been given and improvements are yet to be seen, there are times when you have to let him/her go. To make the “letting go” process more official, you can send the particular employee an employee termination letter. Through basic termination letters, you will be able to properly explain to the employee the reasons why he/she is being terminated and what he/she will get from the termination process. 

If you are in the process of terminating an employee but have no idea how to come up with a good termination letter, you need not worry. We have collected a few examples of termination letters that will serve as your reference to crafting a good termination letter template for your company. We also have some tips and guidelines to help make this particular task of yours a whole lot easier.

Sample Letter of Dismissal

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Sample Termination Letter for Poor Performance

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Letter of Termination for Poor Performance with Notice

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What to Consider before Terminating an Employee

When you hired the employee, you thought he/she was the perfect person to fill in the vacancy. He/She displayed all of the qualifications and requirements you were looking for in an employee. However, you do notice that the person who you thought was the one turned out to be NOT the one. He/She has missed a couple deadlines, you have seen him/her slacking off, and you even caught him/her snoozing on the office desk. You have to act fast and try to remedy the situation before it gets any worse. Moving forward, you want to ensure that the team’s performance will not be affected and the name of the company will not be tarnished.

Now you start thinking if calling it quits with this employee is the best thing to do. You have to be objective and fair with your decisions. Maybe he/she just needs more time to improve. Maybe he/she is just a slow learner. Maybe he/she needs more training to familiarize all of the company’s tools. You did employ him/her for some reason, and, let us face it, going through the hiring process and training a new employee will cost you a lot of time and effort. However, you should also remember that handing that employment termination letter is also not a bad idea when the worst case scenario starts occurring due to the employee’s poor performance. 

There are a couple of things that you need to consider before you start telling the employee that he/she needs to start cleaning up the office desk.

  • Do you have evidence of the employee’s poor performance? You have to make sure that everything has been well documented. This helps to make your decision more valid and more legitimate. It may take time to document every interaction you have with the employee. However, documentation will be your best friend and can even help you defend your decision should there be any questions about it. Feel free to check out some free note templates to make your documentation more organized.
  • Explain and communicate all expectations regarding the role of your employee in a professional manner. If you had your employee sign an employment contract form, chances are that the expectations, roles, and function of all your employees are reflected in this document. Clearly communicate to your employee that the set expectations have not been met and should be corrected properly. Refer to the contract if there are any disciplinary actions to be imposed before termination is to be considered.
  • Feedback. Employee feedback is to be documented in employee feedback forms and should be handed out to the employee to ensure that they understand the mistake that was committed that will result in a disciplinary action or termination.
  • Plan a performance improvement program.  Your program should detail the areas that need improvement, a sample timeline that will demonstrate the start and end date of the program, and the expectations after the program has been implemented. Have regular follow-ups during this time. During the follow-ups, document whether the employee is making the same errors and address these issues immediately.
  • Craft an employee counseling formThis should be written if there has been no improvement on the employee’s part. Again, write down all the areas of improvement, what has been done to remedy the issue/s, and what are the results after the remedy/remedies have been applied. This form should also put into detail any further remedies that need to be applied. Since this document is written, there should be a space dedicated for signatures.
  • Terminate if all else fails. You have done your part and you did everything you can to try and save the employee from getting a dreadful company termination letter. However, based on all your documentations, you can come up with a performance evaluation form that will let the employee know why he/she has been terminated from his/her position. This form can be enclosed with the termination letter you will give to your employee. This way, you will be honest with the reason for the termination. 

 

There is never a right time for telling an employee that he/she is getting terminated from the job. However, you should also remember that the sooner you do it, the better.

Notice of Dismissal for Excessive Absences

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Sample Termination Letter for Cause or Performance

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Sample Termination Letter for Non-Performance

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Non-Performance Sample Termination Letter

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What to Include in Your Termination Letter

You have now come to the decision of terminating your employee. When it comes to letting go of an employee, it can either be a relief or it can also be a very emotional process. However, you have to be a professional when it comes to handling these situations. By being a professional, it means that you have to document it through writing. Make sure you make use of a language that can be easily understood by the reader. We have gathered a few important things that you should never forget to include in a termination letter.

  • Employee information. State the name of the employee being terminated, the name of the company, and the name of the person who is handling the situation. Make sure to follow a proper business letter format and include the date and the company letterhead.
  • Reason for the termination of the employee. In this case, you should state what the poor performance is that led to the decision of termination. By mentioning the reason, you are giving the employee a clear state of mind as to why this situation is happening.
  • Mention the actions that were taken. Let them know about the notice letters they might have gotten and the programs that were done for the improvement. This subtly reminds them of what has happened before the decision was made.
  • Ask them to return company belongings. This will include gadgets such as phones, computers, hard disks, or flash drives. You should also ask them to finish all the unfinished reports within a certain period of time.
  • Vacation and benefits. If the employee has accrued leaves, you should state if they will be paid or otherwise. As for benefits, you should let them know if the insurances they have acquired from you will be effective for a certain period after termination or if these will be cut off on the date of termination.
  • Pay them what you owe them. State when and how the last paycheck will be received by the employee.

 

Start crafting your termination letter templates by referring to the sample termination letters for the workplace. Did we mention that you can get these job termination letters for free? Yes, you read that right. You need not pay anything to get any of the samples here. 

Coming up with the decision of whether you should keep your employee or terminate them can be a very stressful task. This is because it is not as easy as shouting, “You are fired!” Just like what we see in the movies. It is a very serious decision and one that you should remember you should stick to. You might feel bad about terminating the employee now but who knows, maybe the next one is going to be the one. You just did what you consider as the best for the company and the team.

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