Management Tip of the Day: Giving reference for fired worker

Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:56am EST
 
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BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - There are some guidelines to follow if an employee you fired at some point asks for a reference, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Dismissing an employee is a stressful and challenging task. Unfortunately, the difficulties don't always end when he's out the door. Employees, even those you let go, may ask you for references.

Here is what to do in those situations:

1. Verify information. Check the former employee's file before giving a reference to ensure that you state just the facts.

2. Keep it short. Whether you're writing a reference letter or providing a phone reference, limit the amount of information you offer. This will reduce your chances of saying anything that could be perceived as defamatory.

3. Keep it factual. Limit your responses to factual information: dates of employment, title, salary, and other objective data."

-Today's management tip was adapted from the Harvard ManageMentor Online Module, "Dismissing an Employee."

(For the full post, see: here)