In today’s volatile workplace, your organization needs to be prepared for anything and everything. Springfield, Mo is a booming area where many large and small business organizations operate. As with any business large or small, dealing with personnel issues is never easy and can present potential safety concerns. In some cases, reduction in the workforce or the closing of a facility can pose a safety and security risk. Companies need to be prepared for a wide variety of potential employee reactions, including the possibility of hostility towards other employees and/or management. In other cases, it may be the termination of a troubled, unstable employee that has the makings of a disastrous situation. Terminations are stressful events, but even more so, if it involves an employee who has made threats involving violence against others. If that is the case, it may fall into the category of a High Risk Termination. As a third party, our role is to assist you in the process by staying on point and ensuring the situation does not get out of control. Further, we will guide you through the process of protecting your facilities and employees. It is very important that we, as a non-emotional party, are involved in this process so that if any anger, resentment or threats etc. arise from this action, they become mute points. Our goal is to assist you in facilitating a smooth exit. VIRTUS also offers a specialized discrete emergency paging system that allows people directly involved in the termination to have a discreet key fob in their pocket. Once the emergency button is activated our onsite team members are immediately notified and will begin the pre-determined emergency plan discussed, responding to the situation within seconds. This allows non-essential people or Protection Specialists to not be present in the room during the termination, if the client so prefers. To many unfamiliar faces to a terminated person can cause anxiety and the feelings of being overwhelmed or the perception of an ambush type of mindset. This option allows for the personal protection required to be staged in another office or area, not to be seen, yet still offer an effective response. We can also provide body worn audio and video recording devices that will allow you to document the termination in its entirety. These can be worn discreetly by anyone directly involved and present during the termination.
In Addition To Evaluating Possible Risk Factors, How The Termination Is Handled Is Vital In Minimizing Risk. Preparing For The Separation Should Include The Four “W’s” – Who, When, Where And What.
Who: Company policy may dictate who handles the termination? It may be the responsibility of human resources or the employee’s immediate supervisor. It is important to establish who should be involved and only those individuals should be present for the termination.
When: Schedule the termination early in the week. This can help prevent the employee from plotting revenge over the weekend. Offer the employee immediate outplacement services to focus his/her attention on the future and discourage retaliation. If it is believed there may be the potential for a hostile situation, be prepared by having security present at the separation or on standby and ready to respond if needed.
Where: For security reasons, terminations should be held on a first level floor with easy access to a building exit. Ideally, the room where the separation is held should contain a desk, which can serve as a barrier between management and the employee. The employee should always be seated furthest from the door, enabling a quick exit should the situation turn hostile. Following the separation, the employee should be immediately escorted from the building. In situations where the termination is conducted offsite, a neutral location should be chosen where the employee will not feel cornered or attacked. Personal items left in an office or workstation can be gathered and mailed to the employee by management.
What: An employer needs to ask what access the employee has to company resources. This includes physical access to corporate offices and/or field offices, as well as company property, such as vehicles, desktop/laptop computers, cellular phones, identification badges, etc. On the day of termination, procedures should be in place as to how the property will be collected. Terminated employees must return all company property immediately upon request. An employer should also be mindful that sometimes personal items take on characteristics of company property. For example, if an employee uses the company data system on a personal device, that access needs to the immediately removed. It is recommended employers have a section in the employee handbook devoted to personal property and how it is treated during employment and after separation. Post-termination should also include notifying building security, if applicable and the changing of company passwords, restricting access to sensitive information, alarm codes, remote access, remote IP camera systems and locks.
As mentioned earlier, all terminations should be conducted with the utmost professionalism; as this will minimize the potential for retaliation. The payout of final work hours and earned vacation time, as well as other benefits such as personal days and severance packages, need to be conducted in accordance with legal requirements and company policies. Inform the employee he/she may use the company’s grievance procedure for any final work-related complaint(s) and designate a single point of contact within the company. If the employee entered into a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement during the term of employment, a review of such agreement should be conducted at the time of termination.
These questions are important things to know in advance of a High Risk Terminations take place.
Has The Employee Displayed Or Been Involved In Any Of The Following Behaviors?
- History Of Outbursts And/Or Violence?
- Write Ups?
- Acts Of Theft?
- Bad Behavior?
- Fits Of Rage?
- Upcoming Birthdays?
- Upcoming Work Anniversaries?
- Known Family Issues?
- Known Family Hardships?
- Any Recent Deaths In The Family?
- Mental Health Issues?
- Does The Employee Have A Known Criminal History?
- Has The Employee Ever Made Verbal Threats Towards Management And/Or Co-Workers?
- Does The Employee Have A History Of Disciplinary Issues?
- Has The Employee Ever Displayed Aggressive Behavior Towards Anyone In The Workplace?
- Has Shown Signs Of Paranoia?
- Blames Others For Problems And/Or Issues?
- Never Accepts Responsibility For His/Her Actions?
If You Answered Yes To Any Of The Above Questions And You Have Made The Decision To Terminate, We Offer Some Additional Questions That Should Be Addressed:
- When Should We Conduct The Termination?
- Where Should we Conduct The Termination?
- Who Should Be Present?
- What Do We Need To be Efficient And Effective?
- What Are The Considerations To Make This Less Stressful For All Parties Involved?
- What Can Be Done To Minimize The Embarrassment Of The Situation?
- What Kind Of Paperwork Is Needed In These Situations?
- Who Controls The Situation Once The Process Begins?
- Once The Process Is Complete, Then What?
- Will His/Her Personal Belongings Be Boxed And Mailed Or Hand Delivered To The Terminated Employee Or Will They Be Allowed To Gather There Personal Belonging?
- Will The Terminated Employee Be Escorted Off The Property?
- Will The Terminated Employee Be Given A No Trespass Order?
- How Do We Avoid Retaliation And/Or Harassment?
For most employees, being separated carries with feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability. With a high-risk termination, the feeling may be hostility towards the individual(s) handling the separation or resentment towards the company itself. Being prepared for a high-risk termination is not only essential for the safety of those involved but necessary to protect the overall business operation. Furthermore, as with every personnel decision, careful documentation of the events and actions leading up to and following the termination is strongly recommended.
“Terminations Often Don’t End When The Employee Leaves The Building”
High Risk Terminations don’t end when the employee leaves the building. Often our surveillance services are utilized to monitor activity for a specified period of time or until you reach a comfort level to avoid and prevent any type of harassment or retaliation. We can be your partner and help you through the process to reduce the risk.
VIRTUS helps you prepare contingency plans before any high-risk terminations take place. We can administer threat management procedures to help you mitigate workplace violence situations. We can be your partner and help you through the process to reduce the risk.
Additional Security Post High-Risk Employee Termination
Because our services are easily scalable, VIRTUS can also provide additional Protection/Security during or after a termination and then as needed to further protect your company’s assets and it’s people while giving you further peace of mind.
To learn more about VIRTUS High-Risk Terminations Security services, contact us today.
- Comprehensive Services
- Risk Advisory Services
- Risk-Based Screening
- Security Risk Management
- Corporate Investigations
- Protection Services
- Event Intelligence Threat Monitoring
- Emergency Response Planning Services
- Threat Response Security Services
Today’s threats and behaviors have called for an evolution in how we protect ourselves and loved ones. Situational awareness is now part of our everyday life. There are no second chances to get it right. Initial consultations are always free, please contact us with any questions or requests