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Lights, Camera, Termination: How to Handle Filmed Terminations in the Hybrid and Remote Work Era

You've likely heard about it in today's digital age, where every moment can be captured and shared instantaneously, the increasing trend of employees filming their terminations. When this trend first emerged, we know first hand that many HR professionals and managers felt a wave of anxiety, suddenly mindful of their every word and appearance, knowing that any slip-up could go viral on TikTok!


This phenomenon raises crucial questions for businesses, particularly those operating in hybrid or remote environments. Let's discuss some insights and guidance around updating your termination processes to address this trend effectively!



Boy with small camera

Why Employees Film Terminations


It's important to first understand the why. There are several reasons an employee might choose to film their termination, beyond just jumping on the latest trend bandwagon:



  • Documentation: To have a record of the conversation for personal reference or potential legal action.

  • Transparency: To expose perceived unfair treatment or procedural issues.

  • Public Support: To garner sympathy or support from the public and their professional network.


Risks and Implications for Your Business


The implications of filmed terminations can be profound if not handled properly:


  • Reputation Damage: Viral videos can harm a company's public image and brand.

  • Legal Consequences: Recorded conversations may be used in legal disputes, potentially complicating the company's stance.

  • Employee Morale: The awareness that terminations could be filmed may impact overall employee morale and trust in leadership.


Best Practices for Updating Your Termination Process


To dodge the drama of filmed terminations, especially in hybrid or remote setups, try these top tips to keep things smooth and stress-free:


Train Managers and HR Staff


  • Effective Communication: Probably one the most important, and easy steps to take— ensure all your managers and HR staff involved in terminations are effectively trained on how to conduct termination meetings with empathy, clarity, and professionalism.

  • Handling Recordings: Educate your team on how to respond if an employee indicates they are recording the conversation.


Revise Termination Policies


  • Clear Guidelines: Update your termination policies to address the possibility of recordings. Clearly outline what is allowed and the consequences of unauthorized recordings.

  • Legal Compliance: Ensure that your policies comply with any local laws regarding consent to record conversations.

Leverage Technology


  • Secure Platforms: Use secure, company-approved platforms for remote termination meetings to maintain control over the recording process.

  • Recording Policies: Consider implementing policies that allow the company to record termination meetings for documentation purposes, ensuring both parties are aware and consent to the recording.


Prepare Thorough Documentation


  • Consistent Records: We always sound like a broken record on this one but document, document, document! Maintain detailed and consistent documentation of all performance issues and the steps leading up to the termination.

  • Transparent Process: Ensure that the termination process is transparent and well-documented to support your actions if questioned.


Offer Support and Resources


  • Post-Termination Support: You want to show your care, empathy and support. Provide resources and support to terminated employees, such as outplacement services or counselling, to help them transition smoothly.


 

In an era where personal and professional lives mingle more than ever, businesses need to tweak their termination processes. If you're wondering if your team is truly ready to tackle these types of situations, reach out to Chase & Co. HR for support. We're here to help you implement these best practices, protect your reputation, and ensure departing employees are treated with the utmost respect.

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