Handling workplace issues is a tricky job. Are you able to resolve them invariably? No, right? No one really can!
If you think the job of an HR manager is to hire or fire employees only, then you are wrong, my friend! He/she has to handle all the situations that relate to the humans of the organisation, i.e. employees, mid-level and top-level management personnel and even the cleaning & operation staff.
Don’t lose heart or think you are not a successful HR!
The following tips for specific workplace issues can help a HR Manager achieve better results consistently:
1. RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION
Either it is hiring a candidate or retaining an employee, the HR manager needs to be a skilled communicator as well as a strategic thinker to ensure that his actions are in favour of the organisation, and in no way fraud the candidate or the employee while negotiating about the job-in-question.
The following are some general concerns that you must have an answer for:
A) Hiring a candidate
1. Complete details of the job profile
The brief that you have for the job profile is not enough to communicate the role to the deserving candidate, so you must either have the complete profile with you or invite the head of that particular department for the final negotiation round.
This will allow you to handle all his queries with utmost transparency.
2. Expected and finalised salary
The candidate might be hoping for a particular figure, so be ready with convincing answers if your decided number does not match his desired amount. Formulating responses on the spot might mislead the candidate, or you may also lose a deserving one.
B) Retaining an employee
1. Hierarchy levels
The reason for an employee to leave his organisation is usually a better place, a better salary; a situation you might be familiar with, but what if the employee has issues with the hierarchy levels?
You cannot fire a deserving employee or his senior/junior just because he is facing any problems with them. Do you know how to handle this situation?
The best method is to communicate his thoughts with the concerned person in the most positive manner and devise a new approach to make sure the same hierarchy issues are not repeated.
2. Salary negotiation
If the employee is quitting because of salary issues, then you need to have the right answers to convince him to stay and help your organisation reach its goals.
Salary negotiation is an acquired art, which requires profound communication skills to make both the parties happy (employee and organisation).
You are the sole mediator between the employee and the organisation, so make sure you understand the value of that employee for your organisation, and accordingly, make him an offer that he cannot refuse.
3. Internal conflict
There are several reasons for workplace conflict. It is better described in the next point.
2. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Conflicts can arise in any department, in any situation, so always be ready for them!
The following are two common types of workplace conflicts:
A) Internal conflict
If the conflict is among the employees of the same team, then asking their manager to talk to both of them individually is usually the most preferred way, but will it not be better if the manager can listen to both the sides, clear the unnecessary doubts, and then the angry employees can resolve it among themselves in a closed room.
The possibility of a heated argument or any communication gap reduces, and the chances of conflict resolution are much higher.
B) External conflict
If the dispute is among the employees of two different teams or departments, then the resolution is a little tricky!
But the right way is not to ask their respective managers to resolve it among themselves; it is better to check the following and avoid any ineffective solutions:
1. Different teams
The conflict among the employees of two different teams but the same department can be solved in the way mentioned in “internal conflict” section above or by practising team-exchange programmes so that the employees get to know each other, which will help in clearing the matter more efficiently.
2. Different departments
To resolve the conflict among the employees of two different departments can be resolved by efficient communication between their managers and the employees-in-question. This can also make use of a closed room, but their respective managers should not leave it at any point, to prevent heated arguments or unresolved conclusions.
Conflicts are the primary reasons for lack of productivity among different departments, so make sure your organisation does not suffer from losses or inefficient outputs because of such disputes. Rectify them right away!
3. HEALTH AND SAFETY CONCERNS
Health and safety of your employees should be on top of your priority list. This includes design & structure of the organisation, emergency exits & smoke alarms, precautions for harmful chemicals or any pungent smell-causing activities, make sure the structure is cleaned every day, hiring pest control services regularly and much more.
The employees might have specific concerns regarding behaviour/habit of some other employee or any structural issue, so do you know how to deal with that?
The following are three rare examples which can help you understand such situations better:
A) Smoking or unhygienic habits of an employee
Many employees have the habit of smoking inside their office premises or habits like not taking a bath regularly, not wearing clean clothes or having a foul body odour.
If other employees are facing issues because of that particular employee, then do you know how to take care of the situation? He might get offended if others tell him of the situation, so is talking face-to-face right away the best solution?
Sophie Meaney from Amberjack, suggested an efficient manner to rectify this issue. She says that the right way to go about it is by sending an official mail to that employee which will explain the whole situation to him in a polite way.
If it continues, then you should send him a written warning for the same. If he is still ignoring the policies of the organisation, then having a face-to-face discussion is the only choice left.
B) Lack of proper emergency exits
If the organisational structure does not have adequate emergency exits, then you should be prepared for some additional construction costs.
Don’t wait for the employees to notice it or a disaster to happen before making any budget allotment to the construction costs; instead, hire professionals right away!
Every structure needs to have the right number of emergency exits at the right corners to ensure the safety of the employees in case of a disaster.
Handle with care; your employees are your responsibility when they are inside the office premises.