Severing ties the right way? - SmartBrief

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Severing ties the right way?

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SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Workforce — tracks feedback from leading managers and HR practitioners. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: What kind of severance package do you offer departing employees as part of a layoff?

  • We offer a severance based on years of service, 41%
  • We don’t offer severance packages, 33%
  • We do something different/customized for the situation, 15%
  • We offer a severance based on position, 7%
  • We offer a flat severance for all employees, 3%

Traditionally, we’ve seen years of service as the gold standard for employee severance packages so it isn’t surprising that 2 of 5 people polled told us that. I’ve started to see more companies use a flat rate based on position (executive, middle manager, etc…), but I was surprised to see so many companies aren’t offering a severance package. Even if you don’t believe in the value of giving someone a token as they move on due to no fault of their own, it is an easy way to limit your company’s liability.

Lance Haun is vice president of outreach for MeritBuilder, the main guy over at and a member of the SmartBrief on Workforce Advisory Board.