Employee Relations - Managing your People

However good your product or service, without effective management of your staff, your business will not realise its full potential. So, having invested in selecting the right people, why not make them your most valuable asset by applying competent people management processes. Effective businesses have productive, well-trained people in every part of their organisation.

What do we mean by competent people management processes?

  • Effective induction programmes
  • Good management communication processes
  • Clear boundaries within which employees can freely operate
  • Fair and consistent absence management and capability procedures
  • Proactive information and consultation structures
  • Fair and consistent discipline and grievance procedures
  • Mediation as an option to address employee disputes.

Why do you need these?

The first reason is to minimise the risk to your business by preventing unnecessary and costly disputes with your employees - most of which, in our experience, are completely avoidable. The second, but equally important reason, is to maintain the commitment and motivation of your high performing employees. Persistent poor performance and perceived 'skiving' that are not properly managed, seriously affect those who are expected to work harder to cover those who don't pull their weight.

"Thank you for yesterday and your timely intervention when I was floundering and couldn't just get to the point. Now the horrid part is done we can look forward to the positive work on building a new, motivated and trained team for the future."

Case Study

Our client had two employees who were suffering a breakdown in their employment relationship. One was a long serving employee, the other was fairly new to the business. The newer employee had caused some problems in how she dealt with existing employees. The longer serving employee consider the new employee to be dismissive, off-hand and patronising. The newer employee considered the other difficult to deal with and unapproachable. The two had clashed on several occasions and the employer was considering whether one of them would have to leave the business for the sake of everyone else who worked there. The warring parties were beginning to have a knock-on effect on morale with other employees taking sides.

It was at this point that we suggested a mediation process, facilitated by a member of the CHaRM team who could look at both sides and bring the parties together under sensitively controlled conditions. The purpose was to enable a constructive conversation to take place to see if their differences could be resolved. This was agreed and an initial individual meeting with each party was held to understand their position. Both parties then came to a joint facilitated meeting at which their differences were discussed under mediation guidelines. At the end of the process both parties agreed that the mediation process had helped to 'clear the air' and had enabled them to understand what pressures and problems their behaviour had caused.

The result? Both parties signed up to an action plan which was reviewed at three months by the mediator to see how they were getting on. They both agreed to share parts of the action plan with their managers so that there was a full understanding of the changes they wished to make and support provided. Training that had been identified was also actioned as a result. Crucially for the employer, further decisions regarding possible dismissal were avoided and wider morale and productivity issues were improved by the use of mediation.

Employee Relations - Managing your People
“Thank you ladies, I couldn't have done it without you”