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Employee Relations: Handling Those Tough Human Resources Issues

Sep 14, 2009 | Blog, Employee Relations

Managing your company’s human resources can be tricky.

Any HR professional could rattle off story after story of bizarre occurrences that called for discretion and challenged even the greatest problem-solving skills. But what happens when you, the leader of your organization or department, are tasked with tackling those awkward situations?

From complaints of a coworker’s body odor, to an employee who had a skin sloughing problem (yes that really did happen!), no one likes to be a part of those uncomfortable but necessary conversations. Nonetheless, as the saying goes, “It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it”. Following are a few tips from our team of human resource consultants that will help when that somebody is you:

  • Reiterate the person is a valued member of the team and you are approaching them out of concern.
  • Be sensitive. Choose your words carefully and refrain from making judgments. Explain the conversation is confidential and make sure you keep it that way!
  • Don’t beat around the bush. Get right to the point; dragging out the inevitable only heightens the tension.
  • Offer your assistance (i.e. Would you like a referral to a dermatologist? What can I do to help?)
  • Follow up after a short period to make sure the situation is resolved, and if not, discuss other alternatives / consequences.

For help with your tough employee relations issues or other human resource projects, contact one of our human resource consultants.

Submitted by Dawn Karrer, PHR; Human Resource Consultant, IntegrityHR, Inc.