How GE Can Avoid the Top 3 Employee Termination Risks When They Lay Off 12,000 Employees

We all know that the risks associated with the employee terminations in any business should be carefully managed and mitigated. Being aware of the most common risks should help GE develop effective mitigation strategies during this massive layoff.

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Employee Terminations Must Be Managed Proactively to Avoid Well Known Risks
Just as GE is very careful during the employee on-boarding process to ensure compliance and to minimize risks, it is probably a good time for GE to go back and carefully review and strengthen their employee termination processes to avoid any surprises. One mistake, 12,000 potential issues!
During the employee termination process, the goal should be the minimization of risks, disruptions, and the potential loss of know-how to the business.

Top Employee Termination Risks

The following are the top 3 risk areas most commonly associated with ineffective, reactive, and/or poorly executed employee terminations:

  • Information security risks
  • Discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuits
  • Retaliation

At the end of the day, all these risk areas can be significantly mitigated with a well defined process that is relentlessly and flawlessly executed every time. Defining the process is the easy part, instilling the sense of accountability in the people executing the process to make sure things get done is not so easy.

1. Information security risks

In today’s technology-driven workplace, defining and maintaining a detailed checklist for off-boarding employees is critical. Today, employees have access to a number of applications, systems, documents, plans, facilities, proprietary information, and all sorts of intellectual property that need to be protected. Access to all these assets is usually granted with user IDs, passwords, passkeys, retina or thumbprint scans, codes or PINs, physical keys, etc.
The orderly unwinding of these access points is just as important as making sure that no proprietary or sensitive information is syphoned at the last minute.
It is also important that all nondisclosure, confidentiality, and assignments of intellectual property agreements were properly signed during the employee on-boarding process to discourage employees from doing something inappropriate.
Using a task management software platform with strong accountability functionality like CommandHound will help manage the accurate and consistent execution of a well-defined employee termination checklist. CommandHound also integrates things like escalation paths to make sure things get done on-time and completion tracking at the individual level to drive accountability.

2. Discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuits

Properly terminating an employee requires not running afoul of federal anti-discrimination laws and/or federal or state wrongful termination laws. Properly documenting the events and reasons for termination prior to the actual termination is critical.
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Properly Documenting the Events and Reasons for Employee Terminations Is Critical
Making this documentation a requirement of any employee termination checklist will help make sure that the events leading to the termination have been properly documented.

3. Retaliation

A fair, consistent, and properly-handled termination process always goes a long way towards minimizing the risk of a terminated employee doing something that may cause harm to the business. In today’s world of social media and with employer feedback sites like Glassdoor, employees can cause a great deal of damage to the brand and reputation of any business by venting their frustration or sense of mistreatment when a termination is poorly handled. Worst cases may include things like sabotage, property damage, or physical injury of some sort.
Again, a consistent, well defined, and timely executed termination checklist that incorporates all aspects of a properly managed termination will go a long way to minimize the sense of wrong doing during this process.

Accountability in the Workplace

At the end of the day, GE should carefully define, review, refine, or update its termination processes. However, without a culture of accountability in the workplace all this may go to waste.
CommandHound task management and accountability tool
CommandHound Makes Sure Things Get Done On Time, Every Time
CommandHound not only is able to define checklists with action items, due dates, responsibilities, and reminders but it also incorporate escalation paths and triggers to make sure things get done on time. CommandHound also keeps track how well individuals and teams are doing in completing their assigned tasks on time. This fosters accountability when integrated into the individual’s performance review process.
Would you like to learn more about how CommandHound can help you manage your own employee termination process to minimize costly risks?


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