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Whenever there’s a problem, who ya gonna call? HR of course!

Sometimes there is a budget problem, some times a computer problem but usually it is an employee problem. Better call HR. Is it bad luck or bad judgment either way it’s trouble. Better call HR.
Managers contact HR when they have a problem. An individual has or is suspected of doing something wrong . An individual is refusing to do something. An individual’s work is not up to standard. An individuals attendance/time keeping is causing a problem.
There is an issue about an individual’s recruitment. Whilst the contact is often phrased as a request for advice it soon becomes clear that the manager has their own preferred solution which they would like HR to action. From the conversation that follows it becomes clear that the manager may have already acted hastily said a few things perhaps they shouldn’t have and is preempting a possible  grievance from the employee or their Union rep. The first job of HR is therefore  to dig a manager out of the whole they have dug themselves into.
Managers particularly inexperienced managers often misunderstand the relationship between managers and HR. They often phrase the initial contact with a question like, “ Can I dismiss this person ? “ They then go on to describe how incompetent, uncooperative and lazy the individual is. In such away as to make it clear that HR should support the individual’s dismissal. They are usually disappointed and frustrated when the HR officer asks specifics about feedback on performance, specific targets, training needs identified, opportunities to address issues raised and the detailed records documenting these discussions with the employee. I have heard managers complain in response to this that if they did all that it would take months to get rid of someone!
It is the job of HR to protect the organisation from expensive and image damaging unfair dismissal claims. It is also HR job to promote a fair, reasonable and compassionate management culture. Not all organisations take their led from HR. Some are happy to risk an unfair dismissal claim if it means they can get rid of a square peg in a round hole. They are prepared to offer the individual a sum of money if they are prepared to drop the claim and sign a non disclosure agreement. They even have a formula for working out the size of the lump sum they are prepared to offer based on the individuals salary, their length of service, the estimated legal costs and the likely award to the individual should their case be upheld. For a senior manager this could be a substantial sum but for your average employee it likely to be the equivalent of two or three months salary.
But would you really want to work for an organisation that was prepared to treat their employees in such callous and unfair way?

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