orm_may-2024 - 16

Leadership
Takeaways
* HR should be involved early in the disciplinary process to help guide OR leaders' decision-making throughout disciplinary
and/or remediatoin processes.
* Timing, privacy, opportunities for employee feedback, and an empathetic approach are among the most important considerations
for a final termination meeting.
* Whatever the processs for communicating the change to the rest of the team, doing so promptly can help prevent rumors.
When to let go, Saver
Continued from page 1
needs to be documented. Additional
considerations go beyond the nuts and
bolts of the final meeting. Leaders must
consider what to tell the rest of the
staff as well as how and when to deliver
the message. Throughout the process,
HR personnel can be essential allies
in adhering to the goals and policies of
the broader organization-and in some
cases, finding an alternative to complete
separation.
HR support, OR initiative
HR should always be involved early in
the process, well before the decision is
made to terminate. At Tampa General
Hospital, an organ transplant and level
1 trauma center, HR staff act as strategic
consultants for OR leaders, says
Tyler Carpenter, vice president of people
and talent. For example, HR can help
set key performance indicators for specific
jobs, he says. Along with monthly
check-ins, clearly defined expectations
for a role ensure managers are backed
by evidence when confronting problematic
employees. Helping establish such
expectations throughout an organization
also can make HR ideally suited for
evaluating a potential new beginning for
a problem employee.
A bad fit for an OR does not necessarily
equate to a bad fit for the organization.
Although the employee is
ultimately responsible for their own situation,
life circumstances could make it
impossible for them to meet expectations.
If things don't work out, " That
doesn't mean they're not a good nurse,
16
OR Manager | May 2024
it just means it's not the right fit for
them, " says Beth Bozzelli, MBA, RN,
CNOR, CSSM, vice president, surgical
services for Lifepoint Health in Brentwood,
Tennessee, which runs a diversified
network of integrated care sites
including more than 60 acute-care hospital
campuses. " They might go to another
department and be a rockstar. "
It's important for
the employee to
understand the
decision that led to
their termination,
to always be
treated as a person,
and to leave the
organization with
the same respect as
when they joined it.
OR leaders need not rely entirely on
help from HR in this matter. Denise
Waslo, MSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM, is associate
executive director for perioperative
services at Long Island Jewish Valley
Stream in Valley Stream, New York, a robotic
center of excellence with The Joint
Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for
five orthopedic specialties. She says
she might offer to help find a better fit
elsewhere in the industry, perhaps by
assisting with the employee's resume.
This approach is particularly helpful for
those in non-staff positions such as educators
and managers, she says. In essence,
these conversations provide the
opportunity for the employee to make
their own decision to leave.
In fact, Waslo makes that option explicit
when it becomes clear that counseling,
remediation, and performance
improvement plan (PIP) strategies detailed
in part 1 of this article are not
working. " I don't want you to terminate
you, but I think you need to give your
letter of resignation, " she tells the employee.
This approach leaves the door
open to finding a better fit elsewhere in
the larger Northwell Health system.
The final meeting
Parting ways presents a difficult situation
for both the employee and the
manager. Handling the final meeting
well can reduce stress and minimize the
impact on the well-being of all involved.
Even after deciding to part ways with an
employee, Straub asks if there are any
thoughts they want to share. " You want
to be respectful and preserve their selfesteem
and sense of pride as much as
you can, " she says.
Experts also advise that formal termination
conversations should be held
in private and in a separate meeting, as
opposed to a regularly planned check in
(sidebar, Conducting a termination meeting).
If possible, it is best to meet in a
neutral location, such as a conference
room, rather than the leader's office.
Leaders should consider timing: earlier
in the day is better than late afternoon.
Author Minda Zetlin writes that
Wednesday is the best day of the week
for a termination meeting. This gives
employees time to start their job hunt,
and they can contact HR with questions.
Terminating someone earlier in
the week may leave employees feeling
the organization was trying to squeeze
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