HRdownloads Blog

HR Professional or Personal Counsellor? Maintaining Appropriate Workplace Boundaries

Posted by HRdownloads on Mar 21, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Employees sometimes look to their organization’s HR department for support when their personal and professional lives collide. Given the nature of the role, it’s understandable that employees become comfortable seeking advice from HR—many HR professionals enter the field because they are ‘people’ people. They care about the well-being of others and want to help employees navigate their professional and personal lives. They want employees to feel comfortable coming forward when they’re experiencing problems, but sometimes it can feel like the employee expects a personal counsellor.

Although HR is often an expansive role, encompassing many different functions (and might not even be your only or primary responsibility in your organization), personal counsellor is not part of HR’s prerogative. This can be a problem when you must have a frank conversation with an employee who has confided personal details and now sees you as more of a confidant than an HR professional.

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Topics: HR Challenges

Talent Is More Than Skin-Deep: Appearance-Based Biases in the Workplace

Posted by HRdownloads on Feb 21, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Some people seem to have all the luck. But is it really luck, or just looks? How much influence do appearances have on success? We all know appearances can be deceiving, but if we believe that “clothes make the person,” then maybe things aren’t so simple, and maybe sometimes we really do make decisions based on nothing more than how someone looks.

Human resources practices are more inclusive than ever, and workplace cultures tend to be open, progressive, and accepting of people in their infinite variety. Yet biases continue to exist, sneaking into our judgements and decisions more than we might want to admit. These unconscious biases might be invisible to ourselves but have real and significant effects on our workplaces.

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Topics: Recruitment, HR Challenges

Don’t Take It Personally: Managing Sensitive Employees

Posted by HRdownloads on Jan 10, 2019 2:30:00 PM

We’ve all been there. You have a tough talk with an employee, then they’re overcome with emotions and begin to cry. For some managers, this display of emotions can make a difficult situation even more uncomfortable. So what do you do with an ‘over-sensitive’ employee?

As an employer or HR manager, you are tasked with managing a wide variety of employee personalities every day. It’s likely that you have worked with highly sensitive employees, and there are many challenges and opportunities associated with developing strong working relationships with these workers. Sensitivity means being aware of others’ needs and emotions, as well as understanding that how others behave affects how we think and feel. What are the first things that come to mind when you think about a sensitive employee?

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Topics: HR Challenges, Employee Management

Everybody Hurts: Compassion Fatigue in Human Resources

Posted by HRdownloads on Nov 22, 2018 2:30:00 PM

A human resources professional may have only one job title, but they almost always have more than one role in an organization. Among the most important roles HR plays are resolving disputes, addressing concerns and complaints, liaising between employees and management, and disciplining misconduct. All of these tasks require emotional sensitivity, patience, and understanding, but these tasks also exact a toll.

Empathizing with a person or being compassionate requires sharing that person’s pain or suffering, and that sharing has consequences. Over time, even the most compassionate person can suffer from compassion fatigue, where their capacity for empathizing with others is diminished. This can feel even more prevalent during the holiday season, which can put a lot of pressure on employees across the organization as both personal and professional obligations ramp up at the end of the year.

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Topics: Mental Health, HR Challenges

Guess Who? Identifying and Managing Challenging Employees

Posted by HRdownloads on Aug 30, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Do you remember the board game Guess Who? Players race against each other to identify their opponent’s character by considering physical characteristics like clothing, glasses, and hairstyles. Surveying your work team for the difficult employee who may be causing turmoil behind the scenes can make you feel like you’re playing a grown-up version of Guess Who?, but instead of the obvious signs, employers often have to rely on behavioural clues.

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Topics: HR Management, managing employees, HR Challenges

Difficult Discipline: Managing Bad Behaviour in Unusual Circumstances

Posted by HRdownloads on Jul 12, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Enacting disciplinary measures against your employees is never pleasant or easy, but most of the time, it’s at least straightforward. Someone does something wrong, so you issue a warning; if the bad behaviour persists, you escalate the discipline until, as a last resort, you terminate their employment. With a well-written policy guiding the disciplinary process, and other policies explaining what sort of behaviour would trigger that process, you can be reasonably confident that you’ll be able to handle any sort of transgression.

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Topics: managing employees, HR Challenges

A Limited Engagement: Meeting HR Challenges in the Gig Economy

Posted by HRdownloads on Nov 2, 2017 2:30:00 PM

The temporary or contract employee has been around since before we could say, “There’s an app for that,” yet there’s no doubting the impact digital technology has made on the world of on-demand labour. Yet, while the so-called “gig economy” goes by many names—sharing, freelance, agile, or contingent—many employers and HR professionals know that whatever you call it, short-term contract employment provides both benefits and challenges in today’s market.

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Topics: HR Challenges, gig economy, contract employees

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