termination codes for HRIS

We're "re-developing" some of our HRIS database needs and are looking at adding additional termination codes. Currently we have just one terminated code. We can have as many codes as we feel we need, but of course want to keep the list to a minimum.

We've come up with:

Laid Off
Terminated for Cause
Terminated - Leave Expired

We don't offer retirement benfits so I don't know if having a Retirement code would be of any benefit to us.

And we've also thought about breaking down the resignation code to something more defined, like

Resignation - Better Job Opportunity Resignation - Relocated
Resignation - Unsatisfied with Work
Resignation - Personal Reasons

Do you see any need to have term codes defined like that?

Thanks in advance!


  • 14 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • No. Not unless you intend to force someone to do exit interviews. The only reason to have any codes at all, much less all those additional ones, is if someone plans to sort and track those numbers for some business purpose. And it carries an underlying assumption that some sort of value can be derived from having those numbers to begin with. Tracking stuff can get might meaningless. I've tracked everything imaginable regarding accidents, for example: what day of the week, what shift, how near payday, weather conditions, transportation available, ever utilized EAP. We often create for ourselves much stuff that drives us nuts. And then we complain about having been driven nuts. x:-)
  • What if, because of personal reasons they became unsatisfied with their work and left to find a better job opportunity? hahaha Not trying to be an idiot here but maybe that will help you look at it differently. We also offer higher ups the option of resignation before being terminated (they would get additional pay, etc.) and that would throw even more complications into your system.
  • how about resignation in lieu of termination?
  • You might consider breaking out the resignation code to:
    Resigned – eligible for rehire
    Resigned – not eligible for rehire

  • I was also going to add the ineligible for rehire code. We also need to track voluntary vs involuntary (RIFs) for WARN tracking purposes. For California WARN we have to count the number RIFS in a rolling 30 day period, so it helps to have the code for that. We of course, have dozens of codes, but that much detail is not necessary and most of the codes are never used. Also, instead of using "better opportunity" I would make it "seek/accept other employment."
  • We have 3 main codes
    Voluntary Termination
    Discharge (company terminated)
    RIF (lay off)

    Then in reason we have sub codes
    new job w/better pay, return to school, relocation etc.

    I do it to track the reasons why employees leave us. As Don stated the tracking can be a pain in the a** if you don't have a strategy or goal in mind. For me it help establish that we need to increase our entry level pay and address some performance issues that a couple of our supervisors had.

  • My concern about formally tracking specific reasons for leaving (in addition to what Don and Tish have noted) is that I have found it not always easy to be accurate. Employee states in resignation, going back to school. Everyone knows REALLY left cuz he couldn't stand the place any more. I have done specific studies with Police and Fire, which, like Tish has helped provide ammunition to increase wages.
  • The only one I haven't seen mentioned is "self Termination" which is the "no call no show" reason. In other word do not call in or show up for work for x number of days. I would not code this termiantion (by Company) and I am not sure I would say it is "voluntary" by employee since you don't know why (may be in jail). That is why we use self termination for this specific case. Also sounds better than no-call no show.
    E Wart
  • Call it what you want, it is still a "voluntary quit"; I like the term of "self terminated", which connotates he/she quit without the lease concern of his/her fellow team mates, left them hanging for three days. It was the individuals choice to leave without notice, so he/she self-terminated and caused the negative action to occur. Thanks for the idea E Wart.

  • Just a thought on why its handy to have all those codes...we're involved in a discrimination claim with the EEOC right now & I recently had to produce a list of all terminations since 1/03, as well as specific reasons for terminations with cause. We track those in general categories & it sure made it easy for me to produce that information.
  • what about an "other" for all those that don't fall into any of the other categories? also, as far as defining "resignation" i can only think they would be applicable if you wanted to track the number of reasons given for resignations. you might use this if you were trying to improve the working relationship.

    good luck
  • To Kathi: You said you 'had to produce reasons' for the EEOC. Actually, you did not. Tell the EEOC you do not track that data. The very worst of all possible reasons to force yourselves in HR to create monsters is because you think that the EEOC will someday want to look at the monster. The EEOC has no valid authority to require you to produce anything in that regard other than how many, by name, did the company fire and why.

    While we're at it, let's not overlook the need to add columns for deceased, unknown-vanished, did not return from FMLA/military leave, killed on company property by former co-worker and 'serving on Scott Peterson jury'.
  • We had a list of codes for all kinds of situations at a previous employer. It was quite helpful to be able to easily produce a report of all retirees within a certain period of time. We also had statuses such as:
    Terminated - nonvested
    Terminated - vested
    Retire early
    Normal retirement

    We had to communicate with some of these employees in different ways and having the codes allowed us to easily pull names and addresses off the system. The size of the company was 15,000 plus and all benefit administration and reporting was centralized.

    Other codes -
    Resignation - other job
    Resignation - personal
    termination - performance
    termination - RIF

    I'm getting too old so I can't remember the other codes. :-? I know it was very helpful to us when using the codes to report out of the system in different ways for benefit uses and upon request by upper mgmt. May not be worthwhile for all employers, but it is for some.
  • Thanks for all the responses! I appreciate everyone's input.

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