HR - it's not just about avoiding Employment Tribunals
Posted on 22nd November 2018 at 12:34
Another day brings me another tranche of social media posts from HR Consultancies offering to keep employers out of tribunals.
Is that really all HR is? Your secret weapon for getting rid of problem employees without falling foul of the law?
I have to be honest, HR that just focuses on avoiding the bad stuff makes makes me really sad. And it makes me angry too, and very frustrated with some of my profession. And I feel frustrated for employers who feel they are just going round the same hamster wheel, recruiting the wrong people, managing them ineffectively, and then deciding enough is enough and dismissing people.
HR should be delivering your business so much more than just keeping you out of trouble.
HR should be about creating great workplace cultures that attract the ideal employees for your business. That takes a lot of work, thinking about your business values, what you stand for, and the kind of behaviours and working practices that you want to see in your business, and then helping managers understand all those values, and behaviours, so they can encourage them amongst their teams.
HR should be about ensuring performance is monitored and measured in ways that suit the business, so that every employee knows how they are doing, and what they need to improve, and managers know how to coach and support employees to achieve that improvement in performance.
HR should be about working with employees to help them develop the skills they need today, next year and in five years’ time, so that those ideal employees stay with you because they are fulfilled, challenged, motivated, and they trust you to help them stay at the top of their game skills-wise. Nurtured, developed and protected, they will contribute to your business for years to come.
HR should be about protecting your business well into the future, with an HR strategy that supports and delivers your business strategy, and ensures your business is positioned to grow and expand as far as you want it to. That includes identifying future managers and developing them so that they are ready to step up when their time comes. Just one aspect of business contingency planning that you should be thinking about as your business develops.
Most of all, HR should be about supporting existing managers and team leaders to create those great workplaces, find the right employees, invest in and nurture those employees so they have the right skills for now and the future, treat those employees well so that they want to stay with you, and reward them for their contribution.
And you know what? When you treat your employees well, you'll make a lot more money in your business. Your employees will work harder, solve more problems, recommend you and your products and services to their friends and families, and stay with you longer.
You'll waste less money on recruitment and training people who leave before they become fully productive.
Now, HR doesn’t operate with perfect people in a perfect world, and even with a great HR environment, every now and again, you might find you’ve employed someone who doesn’t quite fit.
HR that delivers for your business will ensure you’ll realise that quickly, and will prompt you to take action quickly to put things right with procedures that ensure a fair and reasonable outcome for both employer and employee.
Do you know something? In the 26 years I’ve worked in the HR profession, I have never been to an employment tribunal.
Not once, not even as an observer. Most of those 26 years have been spent in a legal environment like today, with no tribunal fees and open access for anyone who feels they need to bring a claim.
If your HR focuses on creating great workplaces where people are treated so well they don't want to leave, why would anyone want to take you to an Employment Tribunal?
If you want your HR to be about more than just avoiding tribunals, let’s have a chat. 07902 903086
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