When you own a business, there are many types of people you will work with and situations that arise because of them. Because of that, Human Resources is a subset of work that every business needs to have. Learning how to navigate HR situations like the following is tricky but essential to ensure the best outcome for you and your business.
Unfortunately, harassment does happen in the workplace. This can make for a negative work environment for those involved as well as you and other employees. You want to be careful when you handle workplace harassment. First, it is ideal to have a written policy on harassment and a well-known procedure employees can follow to file a complaint. When a complaint arises, you need to be fair and not make any assumptions up front. Gather as much evidence as you can so you can make an objective decision. You also want to investigate as quickly as possible. This is for your benefit to resolve the situation, but also to benefit any employees who may be suffering due to harassment.
In some cases, you may find that you need to fire an employee. When you come across these situations, it’s important to follow all proper legal procedures. Long before this moment, you should document all instances of misconduct or poor performance. This documentation can be used in your defense later to show that the employee was not fulfilling their duties. If illegal activity has occurred with certain occupations, a licensing authority may become involved. Criminal convictions substantially related to the job are considered unprofessional conduct, and such charges made against your employee should often result in immediate termination. Of course, throughout any of these situations, make sure you are not violating anything in your contract with the employee and obeying all laws regarding discrimination.
Within the HR department, you will receive all types of complaints. Sometimes, employees may come to you and your HR team with complaints about other employees or managers. While these may not be as serious as a harassment complaint, they can still be difficult to manage and resolve. For example, if someone is complaining about another employee’s lack of hygiene and how it affects other’s ability to work, you may be at a loss for what to do. In these situations, you will likely need to talk to the employee and have an uncomfortable conversation. For the awkward and confrontational situations, stick to being as honest as possible while still displaying consideration and support for the employee.
It’s never easy managing your own business. You will encounter many difficult situations when it comes to business relationships. However, if you take the time to understand common HR situations and how to deal with them, you will be better equipped to handle any problem!
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