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Kienbaum publishes new termination management study

Falling short of the expectations

12.12.2016 - Career

by Gabriele Euchner and Bernd Fricke, Principals Executive NewPlacement

Termination management remains one of the most challenging and personally draining topics for executives and line managers. It is an issue loaded with taboo, but letting people go is an indispensable part of any breathing workforce. Still, people remain wary about even the constructive opportunities in the field – on both sides of the termination. It essential to look deeper on the issue and see whether actual practice matches the noble ideals in the field. The study also intended to offer concrete solutions for fair and professional termination management, for the companies and the people affected.

The great importance for companies and their leading managers is reflected in the numbers of responses:

  • Of the sample group of 2000 people invited to take part, 433 respondents were happy to answer (22 percent).
  • 70 percent are decision makers in their organizations (Directors / Managing Directors, C-level executives, and HR Directors).

    The most important findings in brief:
  1. Professional termination management is an important topic for businesses. Representatives from all business areas, levels of hierarchy, companies of all sizes and from various industries know that the “how” and “what” of termination management can have major repercussions for all people involved in the process.

  2. Effective termination management has a positive effect on the motivation and engagement levels of the remaining workforce by reinforcing their trust in their employer. Employees will watch very carefully what happens to their leaving co-workers or superiors. Effective termination management can stop the rumour mill from using up much-needed productivity and reduce the costs for the company. It also helps avoiding unintended leaves (“regretted leavers”).

  3. 70 percent of all surveyed companies state having neither a culture of termination management nor the right strategies and processes – despite knowing about the great importance. There is an obvious need for support on the road towards more professional termination management.

  4. The surveyed companies are particularly interested in holistic consulting that covers the entire process. NewPlacement support and legal advice are most in demand, but the toolkit is far from complete with only those two instruments.

  5. Professional termination management can have a positive effect on the employer brand. People who feel treated fairly and equitably are less likely to leave anonymous critical comments on popular employer rating platforms like Kununu or Glassdoor.

  6. Professional termination processes have a positive impact on overall business development. Leaving managers of today might become the loyal clients of tomorrow.

  7. “Fairness” is the most important criteria for termination processes. Asked about the most important factors , the top-10 answers are “soft” factors only: Appreciation, clear communication, and professionally managed conversations. “Hard facts” like financial terms or clear and fair contractual agreements are ranked 11 and higher. This is particularly interesting considering how much attention is usually paid to the latter.

  8. 85 percent of all companies using NewPlacement consulting offer this service in very few cases. That means, there is a great potential for faster and more beneficial termination processes.

    Ideals and reality are dramatically far removed from each other. The actual practices in business often fall far short of what web pages and glossy brochures promise. A credible and trust-inspiring culture has to offer: Strategies, processes, and formost leadership. We are happy to present and discuss the findings of the termination management study with you. For a meeting in your region, you can reach us at Executive.NewPlacement@kienbaum.de or +49 211 9659-348.