Calmer Heads Prevail in Complex Employee Situations

Scroll down to read more!

Calmer Heads Prevail in Complex Employee Situations

Scroll down to read more!

Table of Contents

There are a few different profiles when it comes to organizational risk as it pertains to Employee Relations. You have the organizations that slap-happy risky. These are the companies that do whatever they want without regard for consequences. They expect employee claims and suits to come against them, but that doesn’t move them much. Often times, these companies have money – making it even easier for them to settle a dispute and move on somewhat unscathed.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the risk-averse organizations who would rather die than to be sued by an employee. These companies mean well, but their approach to ER issues are equally as damaging as the slap-happy risky companies. Their penchant for going above and beyond to avoid and/or remedy claims or conflict is admirable – yet not a surefire way for eradicating the possibility of any future ER issues.

Employee claims will happen. 

Try as you may, someone in your organization will make a claim on you at some point. The key is to not panic and plan your next step from a place of fear.

I am often perplexed when I see people with zero stomach for having to relay difficult messages or dealing with litigious matters in Employee Relations positions. Why would you do that to someone? Better yet, why would you do that to your organization?

There are places for the meek in every organization. I’m not sure that Employee Relations is the place where I would place really nice, but indecisive people. Conversely, it isn’t the place for bull-headed individuals either. Decisive, critical-thinking, and calm are just some of the necessary attributes that come to mind when I think of the nature of the work in Employee Relations.

Here’s an example:

Recently, I heard from someone who was finishing up an investigation regarding a manager and employee at odds. The final disposition report was written up and submitted to the general counsel at the company. Due to some of the risque findings and the level of the manager, general counsel suggested that the actual findings be kept separate from the final report. He also asked for “tweaking” of some of the wording in the final report.

This tampering with the investigation write-up was not solid advice. One of the two investigators were part of the risk-averse family and panicked. Off he went revising the language of this report from what was intended to something more “frilly” and less harsh.

It was the second investigator that questioned the revisions to the report – only to get concurrence from general counsel that it was both necessary and right to leave the report as-is. Granted the guidance from general counsel was not clear, but if something doesn’t seem right – do we not ask questions or make better suggestions?

Some may argue that it was risky to question the general counsel’s order, but the reality is the employee being affected by her manager’s behavior would file a lawsuit in a heartbeat if somehow all that she claimed is painted in a different light to suit the manager’s stature in the organization.  Reacting frantically to what was asked of the investigation team without considering the potential impact to the investigation is a rookie move – not to mention that fudged findings can put you on litigious ground unnecessarily.

Calmer heads in Employee Relations will always prevail. 

Managing risk and conducting investigations requires a certain temperament. You need to be able to ask the right questions that will lead you to the answers you seek. We also need to welcome collegial discourse that allows one party to respectfully question a practice that doesn’t seem right without being seen as a troublemaker.

In my experience, the power of managing risk from an employee relations standpoint is in the concerted efforts among all of the team members that touch the process.

If you are in charge of an HR department, please be sure you are putting the right people in ER positions and not just anyone who thinks they can do the job. Please and thank you!

 

 

 

Did you like this post? Share it!

A Word From Our Sponsors

Ads help make Workology resources free for everyone. We respect your privacy. To see our Privacy Policy click here.

Recommended Posts

27 Companies Who Hire Adults With Autism

The topic of autism among our youth and adults is something I’m quite passionate about. You might be surprised to know that 1 in...

Episode 415: Registered Apprenticeship Programs in the Clean Energy Sector With Dr. Janell Hills

In this episode, we interview Dr. Janell Hills from IREC about developing registered apprenticeship programs in the clean energy sector....
Sanjay Sathé, Founder & CEO of SucceedSmart, is no stranger to disrupting established industries.

Q&A With Sanjay Sathé, Founder & CEO of SucceedSmart

This interview is part of a series on Workology that features an HR Technology company, its founder and its features. For this post, we’re...

supporting caregivers: the sandwich generation at work

Supporting Caregivers: The ‘Sandwich Generation’ at Work

I’ve been told my whole life to enjoy being young and to grow old gracefully. To enjoy and soak in every moment, especially the...

Recruiting Reimagined: How Specialized Software Strengthens Hiring in 2024

Explore how specialized software is transforming recruitment strategies in 2024. We discuss the benefits of innovative tools for hiring....

How to Reduce Stress at Work (and Life) with Meditation

We can’t always limit stress or the amount of it in our lives, but we can arm ourselves with resources and tools to help...
Best HR Certification prep books

Best HR Certification Prep Books for SHRM and HRCI

Looking for additional reading to support your study prep for HRCI or SHRM? We've got a comprehensive list for you right here....

Checkout Our Products

Ads help make Workology resources free for everyone. We respect your privacy. To see our Privacy Policy click here.

More From Workology

Best HR Certification prep books

Best HR Certification Prep Books for SHRM and HRCI

Looking for additional reading to support your study prep for HRCI or SHRM? We've got a comprehensive list for you right here.

How to Reduce Stress at Work (and Life) with Meditation

We can’t always limit stress or the amount of it in our lives, but we can arm ourselves with resources and tools to help us handle it better.

Recruiting Reimagined: How Specialized Software Strengthens Hiring in 2024

Explore how specialized software is transforming recruitment strategies in 2024. We discuss the benefits of innovative tools for hiring.
supporting caregivers: the sandwich generation at work

Supporting Caregivers: The ‘Sandwich Generation’ at Work

Click on read more to open this post on our blog.