How expert HR advice and guidance can help resolve potential issues before they escalate.

HR advice and guidance

As experts in HR advice and guidance, we here at Blue Tree HR Solutions believe the way forward is through a proactive approach in HR instead of a reactive one. We believe being proactive in HR saves the company money and time and gives you the tools to stop problems from developing and arising. In turn, this means lower stress levels for your employees and more time for productivity.
Sadly, many companies struggle to make the switch from a reactive strategy to a proactive one. This is mainly down to businesses and management not having the tools and knowledge to recognize problems before they occur. This leaves them stuck in a cycle of putting out one fire, only for another to catch light straight after. Luckily, Blue Tree HR Solutions are here to offer some expert HR advice and guidance to help you develop proactive HR strategies and tackle issues before they escalate.

Here are a few examples of when an issue may arise in the workplace, and how a proactive approach can help your company tackle these issues in the most effective way possible.

Suspicious sick leave pattern

If somebody seems to have a habit of being ‘sick’ on a certain day of the week, it may appear to be a small problem, but it could quite easily escalate. The remaining staff may get frustrated and have increased stress levels if they are having to pick up the slack in order to keep the company running smoothly. Staff may be annoyed that management is overlooking the ‘skiving’ employee and not dealing with the issue. This can also leave employees feeling like they’re not valued if they’re continuously expected to be overworked and will create negative feelings towards management for not addressing the problem, this could result in increased staff turnover.

A proactive approach to this scenario would be to track absences efficiently by keeping absence records detailed and up to date, which you can do easily by using the HR software found on our HR Software page. This gives you the power to spot any trends or patterns and address these before it causes an issue for other employees. Having Return to Work interviews following any sickness absence will mean there is a record. Then, depending on the circumstances, you can consider performance management or offer extra support to the employee.

This is also an opportunity to step back and make sure that, if one employee was to suddenly leave, your company has all the resources to manage until a replacement is found. If an employee’s sick leave is causing issues among other staff, this could be a sign that more measures need to be put in place to make sure all staff are supported if this issue did occur, either by recruiting extra staff or offering more training to existing staff.

Maternity leave

A member of staff is pregnant and is due to go on maternity leave. She has given you six months’ notice of her maternity leave. This gives you time to plan and prepare for her absence, by perhaps offering additional support and training to other staff or by recruiting maternity cover.
This is a proactive HR approach as you have communicated with the employee, figured out the best solution for both you and other employees, and put this into action so that when the employee does go on maternity leave, there are no issues to address.

Manage the small things, before they turn into big things.

A common problem among managers is ignoring warning signs or not wanting to deal with small, insignificant issues that aren’t considered serious. Here at Blue Tree HR Solutions, we know that the small things almost always escalate into big problems.
If an employee is acting out or keeps making questionable mistakes or decisions but nothing is addressed, this will inevitably make your life and all employees around them harder in the long run.

For example:

Week 1 – Employee A was caught on CCTV sleeping – nothing was addressed.
Week 2 – Employee A left work an hour early without telling anyone – nothing was addressed, although the line manager is aware.
Week 3 – Employee A was watching a film on his phone instead of doing his work. He was caught by a visitor, and it was reported to his line manager.

Watching a film at work may not constitute gross misconduct and instead, may only warrant a warning. He could not be dismissed fairly based on this one instance alone.
At this point, the employee does not know what he is doing wrong as he has not been pulled up on his behaviour, management is not impressed with his behaviour and wants to replace him, and other staff will be growing frustrated with his bad behaviour, as it may be disrupting their own work.
A proactive approach would be to have managed his performance using the disciplinary process from week one. If he had been given a 1 written warning at week one, then a second written warning at week 2 – he could be dismissed (depending on your policy) at week 3. Alternatively, after his first warning, he may have changed his behaviour and shown that he is an effective member of the team.
Unfortunately, as this situation was responded to in a reactive HR approach, it means his behaviour was ignored and not addressed until it caused a significant issue. This could have been avoided.

Prepare for the future with our HR advice and guidance

It’s inevitable that issues will arise in the workplace, but recognizing these before they occur is fundamental.
Being prepared and dealing with issues right to the source when they do occur, to assure they will not re-appear, is key.
The best way to plan for the future is to make sure that you are working in line with Employment Law, have all the correct policies in place, and assuring all of those in management positions are trained in people management.
Having HR advice and guidance ready and prepared means you can offer the correct support needed in any situation to assure the best outcome. This gives everyone the confidence that every situation’s process is fair and legally compliant.

Are you ready for some healthy HR?

There are countless benefits in how changing your HR approach can benefit you and your company. If you would like to get more expert HR advice and guidance, or you would like to give your company’s HR a refresh, get in touch with Blue Tree HR Solutions for the best HR advice and guidance for your business.

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