I’m In Over My Head.

Another update from the Jungle…
image017Cindy is the HR director for her company because she is a good listener and she can handle obnoxious people. She got the job because the owner hates conflict (and he’s one of the obnoxious people, although no one likes to mention this). Cindy listens patiently to her distressed co-workers, dispenses Kleenex and aspirin as needed, and generally puts an optimistic spin on the worst calamities.

The company is a manufacturing facility that is still fairly low tech. Most of the employees are God-fearing, gun-toting, self-described “rednecks”. They are good people but the stress of living paycheck to paycheck means there are often conflicts. As the company has grown, employee conflicts have multiplied.

Just this morning, Cindy rushed to the women’s bathroom to break up a fight between two employees. The women were fighting over the shift mechanic who has been trysting with both of them. Cindy arrived in time to see one of the women flashing a pocket knife at the other woman. The employee who pulled a knife has to go immediately. Cindy and the shift supervisor escort her off the premises. The other employee must be suspended for fighting at work.

Cindy feels overwhelmed. She has no formal training for her HR duties and she worries that she may violate employment laws due to lack of training.

What are Cindy’s options?

  1. She can continue to worry about her lack of HR training and hope for the best. After all, she’s good at putting a positive spin on dire circumstances.
  2. She can ask the owner to reimburse her costs to take HR training classes so that she has the appropriate certifications to do her job. The training will be beneficial in the long run but have no effect on her immediate concerns.
  3. She can ask the owner to hire an HR consultant to review their existing policies and practices to identify areas that need to be improved to avoid violating the law. This will fix the short term concerns she has.

The above scenario is a composite of actual situations I faced while working at several former employers. If your company is struggling with similar issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help. Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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