Posts tagged “Better HR”

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
According to CIPD research, 90% of HR people surveyed said they had witnessed people coming to work when they really should have stayed at home because of illness. 
 
It has earned its own name – “Presenteeism”. But is it really a problem? 
 
Surely the point of a good absence management process is to make people think hard about taking time off sick, and to encourage them to come to work if they are able? To reduce overall absences. And if that means people come to work when they might have taken the day off, that’s all for the good…isn’t it? 
How often do you have 1:1 discussions with your team about their performance?  
 
Here's why you really should make the time.  
I often hear business owners say that maternity leave would be a nightmare for their business, and that women with children are unreliable. I hear it so often that I frequently ask myself what has been achieved by over 40 years of sex discrimination legislation. 
 
Let me tell you about some people I know. 
Virtually every organisation has a list of behaviours that are considered to be “gross misconduct”. 
 
Gross misconduct is something considered so serious that it strikes at the heart of the contract of employment, and effectively tears it up. So serious that an employee can be dismissed, without warning or notice, even for a first offence. 
 
So here’s a question for you. 
How big is your employee handbook? 
 
Seriously, if it was printed out, how many pages would it be? 
 
Have you ever asked yourself why you need so many policies? How many you have ever used? What the purpose of such a hefty tome is? 
What is the one thing you have in common with every single person you work with, every customer or potential client you come into contact with, every supplier you deal with, and every competitor in your market place? In fact, with every other person on this planet? 
Imagine spending hours completing a job application, researching the organisation, carrying out a lengthy pre-interview questionnaire, preparing for interview, travelling to and attending the interview. 
 
Consider, after all that effort, commitment, anxiety, and time, how agonising the wait must be to find out if you were successful or not. 
Joe’s wife has cancer. She has frequent hospital appointments and days when she feels so ill she needs someone at home to care for her, change her clothes and bedding, and help her stay clean and hydrated. Joe has no idea whether the treatment will be successful, or how he will support his wife and children if he loses his job. 
 
A couple of job adverts caught my eye last week. 
 
The first one was looking for someone who could work 12+ hours, but had to be flexible across the organisation's entire opening hours. That was 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. Quite a proposition! 
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