In today’s busy life, with smart phones constantly buzzing and demands coming from every direction, it is normal and common for us to get really busy, for matters to become over complicated and for us to forget the basics. When you get pressurised and possibly even stressed, or things seem out of kilter, it is helpful to go back to the basics. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well and exercising regularly? These are the essentials which keep us grounded, keep us going and keep us sane.
HR is just the same.
Having employees is challenging as you never know what new situation or behaviour you will face each day. It is often in these situations or when we are faced with a crisis that we realise there are gaps in our HR policies or processes. These are the foundation of effectively managing your team, yet often they are overlooked.
The starting point for dealing with an employee issue is to reference back to your employment related documentation. What is in the job description? What is in the code of conduct? What is in the terms and conditions? What is in the employee handbook? What does the Employment Agreement say? What is in the policies?
Do you have a provision in your employment documentation that relates to the situation you are facing and could provide the solution as to how to handle the situation? Have you set clear expectations for your team members and have these been documented and well communicated?
Too often, however, when we reach for the Employment Agreement, appropriate policy or other essential employment documents, we realise that there are critical gaps. Given the particular circumstance at hand, this is no help to us. A person transgressing can wriggle free when there are holes in the employment documents, and the situation can be, or can become, difficult to remedy.
The key to being confident about handling whatever HR issues are in front of you is to ensure you have the HR basics covered before you need them. A solid IEA, backed by comprehensive policies and a code of conduct is worth its weight in gold when you have a tricky employment situation. It makes sense for every employer to review these annually to make sure they are in line with legislative changes, and to ensure they have been well communicated to their team members. Communication in advance of an issue can avoid the occurrence of the issue altogether.
Most employees don’t deliberately break rules. When they do, it is often a combination of pressure, a difficult situation or a lack of understanding of workplace expectations and standards. Having sound employment foundation documents not only helps minimise risk, but also helps your team to feel secure and confident in the knowledge that they understand the behaviours and performance standards expected of them.
Just like lack of sleep, it is often not until we get cranky and stressed that we realise we need an early night. Don’t make the same mistake with your team. Make sure you have all your HR basics covered before you need them.
When was the last time you reviewed your HR employment documentation. Positive People can help you make sure you have the right foundations in place to manage your team well. Call us to find out more. Click here for more information.