Communication and HR: Building the Bridge to Engagement

Is a given week more interesting than another? It's all a matter of perspective. What you get stems from what you decide to do. This is the case in many instances. And when issues of harassment, diversity, and other sensitive matters arise, one has to be able to handle the situation tactfully. When you have a conversation, it is often to build a bridge or mend fences toward engagement one more time.

A Bridge to Engagement: A Wall of Clarity and Procedures 


A recent, unexpected conversation I had was an unusual (?) employee relations (ER) matter. You know you always get this first warning as "please do not let anybody know about this". In HR please, do not make promises you cannot keep. Let them know that you will listen and will not release personal information. But by the same token, make the necessary reservations and be honest: there are things that you have to report if some sort of remediation is necessary. It can be put just as simply as: "I understand but I have to let you know that there will be an investigation because in this case it has to be done." The way a conversation goes gives you a hint on the employee's main concern. It is borderline disconcerting how concerns can be expressed by employees. We do not want to read between the lines: we have to be objective and take objectively presented arguments and facts. And yet, there is more than the eye can see, on many occasions.
Conclusion: be clear and concise, but honest. Don't give room for speculation if you don't want to be misinterpreted and misquoted. Make sure that whatever you say and have to do will keep engagement going. Building or keeping trust and enhancing engagement: a daily mission.

Managers' Training is Paramount

While clarity is not a major issue for HR, there are reasons to be more concerned about managers. Any given organization would first refer the employee to the reporting manager. It frees HR.  My observation however: news travel fast. Some HR/ER affair is easily taken ownership by the whole managerial team and cascades down to the whole organization. KEY: train your managers to do the right thing which is to contact HR first. HR is to be the sounding board when it comes to ER, at least because of the complexity of labor law. Procedures have to be clear and need to be observed. Unfortunately, we often are to mend the broken fences and restore trust and engagement with the workforce. Proactivity in managers' training matters. Train your managers on what to do and what not to do. Trust is crucial between the manager and the employee. Once that chain is broken, relationship and working conditions and results sour. The feeling of distrust will remain, Worse: a poorly trained manager may fuel it unknowingly

Nobody is ever happy with HR. Ah! Training: Focusing on one category of stakeholder can be perceived as neglecting another  category. Also, public recognition of one group or individual can make the "rest"of the team uneasy or neglected. You got it right: in HR you can never be right! Just do your best and try to shoot at the right direction. We want to seize a moment and are convinced that circumstantial statements are good and needed. Right. Make also a point of linking circumstances to a broader scope of issues because your audience, a diverse workforce, will tune to what pertains to "them"as a group or as individuals. Building a bridge to keep employees engaged? A daily challenge

Today's Top Employment Law trends are a clear indication of what could be your most important employee Relations issue in the foreseeable future. Think Off Duty Use of Medical and Recreational Marijuna, Paid Sick Leave, ACA, Immigration, Privacy in the Digital Era, Safe Driving Laws, E-Cigarette in Public Areas, Wellness Programs and ADA/GINA/FMLA, LGBT Rights, Pregnancy and Reasonable Accommodations, FLSA and Wage and Hours Issues, Domestic Violence, and Workplace Bullying, among others.

Yet, your issues could still be aggregated in a few topics. Can you tell what is your most important employee relations issue? Check your vote .

En Synthèse...

Les RH, c'est en partie fait pour écouter mais aussi corriger, diriger, et donner le training nécessaire. 

En Synthèse...

Les RH, c'est en partie fait pour écouter mais aussi corriger, diriger, et donner le training nécessaire. 


On ne peut jamais satisfaire tout le monde, mais s'il y a une chose que l'on ne doit jamais perdre de vue c'est que les employés sont souvent forgés par leurs managers, et de même l'ambiance d'entreprise. Ici, je pense à ce cas récent ou l’employée a utilisé les mots de "harassement" et "discrimination" et où  tout RH digne de ce nom doit voir un feu orange clignoter.  
Souvent, les managers ignorent, par accident ou pas, certaines procédures importantes. Ne les laissez pas couper le pont d'avec les employés sans le savoir ou le vouloir: le training des managers, c'est crucial car c'est la première porte ouverte aux employés. 


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