FREE ADVICE WEDNESDAY: Easing the blow of a firing.


I run a small business and I can't afford to offer much of a severance package to an employee that I need to get rid of, but I'm not sure what else I can do to get a release.


I get this one all the time. If you believe you have a "high risk" termination, you're wise to try and get a release. It can't cover everything, but it will sure help. If you're running a smaller business, it's probably going to hit you hard in the wallet to issue a chunk of severance (which allays the first concern of the departing employee: how do I pay my bills and get my next meal). Here are a few ideas you can use that are low cost.

(1) Allow the employee to resign, but agree not to contest unemployment.
(2) If you are covered by it, offer to pay a month of COBRA instead of salary.
(3) Offer a letter of recommendation (beware this one if they cause damage at the next place)
(4) Offer to expunge their file of some bad things.

That should give you enough chips in your exit interview to get a release out of many people.