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Can a Bad HR Decision Cost You Your Job?

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fired-pictureHandling a human resource issue can quickly turn into a tricky situation if the wrong decisions are made.

Human resource managers tread water on a daily basis when it comes to employee and employer satisfaction. Handling issues poorly will likely result in HR drowning in problems that could affect the entire company.

With that in mind, here are some steps every HR department should take when handling company issues:


Listen Closely

One of an HR manager’s main responsibilities is to listen to everything employees have to say. Not only that, it’s also important to keep in mind that no judgment should be passed regardless of the issue at hand.

A good rule of thumb for any HR department is to ask that employee complaints or issues be submitted in written form. This will give the employee with the issue an opportunity to process their thoughts while providing the HR representative with a thorough, written account of the situation.



No promises should be made in the initial HR meeting.

Instead, HR managers should take the time to investigate the issue. If another company manager is involved in the situation, this is also the time to get their part of the story.

All this is to say that no hasty decisions should be made either. To ensure everything is accounted for, the HR representative should interview other witnesses and research possible past accounts through archived HR documentation.


review Laws

Although not every workplace issue is to the level that legal action need be taken, certain laws should be reviewed just to be safe. Any issues pertaining to affirmative action, harassment, discrimination, or similar should be researched.

Legal action is a worst-case scenario for HR and the company as a whole, so in the case of a lawsuit, an attorney should be involved in the matter immediately. A good HR manager should be aware of a potential lawsuit and seek legal advice from the start.


Take Action

After the HR manager has spoken with other department heads and processed all pertinent information concerning the issue, its decision time. And, whether or not corrective action is taken or not, there’s sure to be a party involved that isn’t satisfied.

Because of this, the HR department should have a reasonable explanation as to why the decision went one way or another. If there is still an unsatisfied party, HR should set up an appointment with both parties in order to find a mutually agreeable outcome.


Follow Up

In keeping with HR etiquette, it’s a good idea for the HR department to follow up with both parties involved in the issue after the dust settles to ensure everyone is satisfied with the outcome as well as the aftermath.

The HR manager should also provide the employee involved in the issue with an open forum to discuss their opinion on how well HR handled the issue in general.

When it comes human resource issues, a researched and informed decision is always the right decision.


About the Author:  Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including business, workplace policy, and getting a computer degree online.

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