Thursday, October 2, 2014

Can You Effectively Mediate Conflict in the Workplace?

Reader Question: I would like to get more information on mediation strategies for handling difficult issues among employees. Can you suggest any techniques that might be helpful?
- HR Assistant, Medical Product Company

One technique that you can frequently use is the establishment of "Ground Rules". The parties involved create, agree, and commit to the rules --- a method that is helpful for those employees that are experiencing conflict with fellow co-workers. When it comes to conflict management / mediation you need to assess the situation first to see what the most appropriate intervention would be. This all being said Mediation is not an easy area to master. The best way to learn mediation techniques is read up on it, find a local course provider, and practice, practice, practice!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Did Your Potential Candidate Prepare For The Interview?

Interview Question: What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?

Some candidates will jump right in a give you their best answer to this trap laden question. You have to decide if they should be able to answer at this juncture --- or the appropriate response is "I won't know until I'm here for a few months" or even "Why don't you tell me?". Probe any direct responses inquiring as to how they arrived at their answer. It helps to understand if they did research, asked others who work there, or just made some assumptions.

Monday, September 29, 2014

What Should Your Resignation Policy Say?

A policy that states the process per se that is to occur when an employee leaves the company is always a good thing to have in place. The common error - stating that the employee is required to provide no less than two weeks notice to the company. If you are maintaining an "at-will" employment relationship with your employees, as you should, you need to state that you request that all departing employees provide two weeks of notice. Mandate it and you could be compromising your "at- will" relationship.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Should Employees Be Allowed to Take Time Off Without Pay?

Are there any issues with allowing an employee to take time off without pay?
- President, Marketing Services Co.

There are several issues. Most of us just think that as long as the employee is not getting paid there is no problem. That being said you need to consider the loss of productivity. That employee's absence means you lose their productive hours, despite saving some salary in the process. Other issues include the impact their absence has on the workload of others, who now must absorb the burden. From a morale perspective you also have your other employees potentially concerned about why their co-worker is not there and allowed to be away from work more than their paid time off would normally allow, which in turn can create resentment towards that employee. Lot's of potential issues to consider.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Is Your Company Ready to Start Hiring Again?

As things start to stabilize with the economy and your business, you will need to assess where new staff is once again needed. A plan full approach towards this assessment including measuring workloads, hours to complete, pipeline of new business, current business and the likelihood that it will remain are all key steps you need to take into account. Use expansion as well as an opportunity to consider promotions and reassignments towards aligning for future needs.