What to Tell Your Team after a Termination

Let’s assume you complete the unfortunate task of terminating one of your dental team members.  As much as you may want to forget the whole thing, your work is not yet over.  You still need to reach out to your existing team.

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Whenever someone is terminated, it’s normal for existing dental team members to have concerns about their jobs; therefore providing reassurance to your team is an important step to take immediately following a termination.  In addition to providing reassurance, your team will also benefit from positive reinforcement.

Problematic employees often cause stress for weeks or months prior to termination, and it’s normal for this to negatively affect your relationship with the rest of the team.  It’s challenging to offer encouragement to others when you are carrying around an extra burden.  That needs to change immediately after the termination.  Use this time to reconnect with your team and offer specific positive feedback.


Also, if you are replacing the position make sure your team is prepared to offer a warm welcome to the new person.  If there are unsettled feelings following the termination, you need to address those to help ensure the new staff member walks into a good environment.  The last thing you need is to have someone new feeling like she is facing a firing squad on the first day in your practice.

Finally, your team may ask what to tell patients if they inquire about the terminated employee.  Simply say the individual is no longer with the practice and then introduce the curious patient to the new team member.

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Terminations are never easy.  After you finish the hardest part, please remember that important tasks remain.  By handling things effectively after letting someone go, you will take a big step toward making your team even stronger.

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