6 Steps For Tackling Tough HR Conversations

Feb 1, 2013 | Human Resources | 0 comments

6 Steps For Tackling Tough HR Conversations

Face it; it is just a matter of time before you need to talk with employees about:

• A messy desk
• Being late
• Discrimination
• Drugs or alcohol use
• Excessive cell phone usage (texting or talking)
• Flirtatious behavior
• Having an inter-office affair
• Inappropriate attire
• Leaving dirty dishes in the sink
• Personal hygiene
• Vulgar language
6 Steps For Tackling Tough HR Conversations:

To help you (or someone you know) talk with an employee about tough HR issues, we assembled 6 steps to take (although we do suggest getting a professional’s advice when dealing with certain issues).

Step #1: Seek Permission To Give Feedback – At the start of a HR conversation, you should ask an employee for permission to give feedback. Opening a two-way channel between you and the employee you are speaking with helps to explore the problem from every angle.

Step #2: Keep Cool, Calm And Collected – Slamming someone verbally never solves anything; shouting is just a scare tactic that puts an employee on the defensive. Instead, you should broach the matter with a calm, level tone. The goal of a HR conversation is for your employee to become aware of whatever HR is trying to address and to not be sidetracked by emotions.

Step #3: Focus On The Problem – Telling someone that other coworkers have voiced complaints about their attitude and/or behavior can seem like redirection. More often than not, this only exacerbates the issue. Sometimes, it even creates new ones. What matters most is the issue at hand, so you should focus solely on that during the conversation(s).

Step #4: Keep The Discussion Uncomplicated And Simple – As mentioned in Step #3, staying focused is in everyone’s best interest. You should keep your conversations simple, direct and on topic – and not sidetrack the real issue at hand with irrelevant discussions.

Step #5: Reach An Agreement – The goal of any HR conversation is to facilitate change or improvement. That requires both parties to come to an agreement about what needs to be done and when it ought to be done. We recommend that you schedule a follow-up date to review the employee’s changed attitude and/or behavior.

Step #6: Follow-up – The more positive feedback you can provide, the more likely someone is to change their attitude and/or behavior. This kind of encouragement helps ensure these changes are maintained.

Executive Summary: Navigating tough HR conversations is never fun. However, it can be made easier by heeding the steps listed above. Doing so will help build your comfort level and provide a mental outline for you to follow during future HR conversations. At the end of the day, it is best to have difficult HR conversations sooner versus later, as it could avoid potential legal issues in the future.

Guest post by: Automated Payroll Service “Provide comprehensive payroll solutions in a confidential and technologically advanced environment while ensuring compliance with all federal and state tax laws and regulations.” www.automatedpayroll.net