An HR in any company always walks on a thin line i.e., between the management and employees. This can lead to tricky situations and conflicts with employees having trust issues with HR. While it differs from situation to situation, there is no one particular method that the HR can use to curb the tension while walking the knife’s edge.
However, HR can make use of a few methods to avoid tension before it even erupts:
- Communication: There is no better way to reduce the tension between management and employees than to keep communications open and transparent. Many times, employees tend to feel ambiguous about the future of the company or their employment, which might provoke them to take untoward action putting HR in the problem. In such situations, the action of HR will determine whether he / she will have perceived as – Friend of the Management or the Employees. Hence, it is advisable to diagnose and root out the problem in its initial stage itself. Here, HR needs to set up clear communication between the management and employees.
- Empathy: Another accusation employees have towards HR is that they lack empathy. While this holds no truth, it is important that the HR use a cool and calm head while dealing with employees. One-to-one talking, feedbacks, counseling sessions are some ways through which employees can understand the HR’s point of view. Body language, tone, and subtleties make a huge difference on employees and help in either asserting the points of HR or showing it all as a bluff. In the end, logic does triumph over emotions, but to reach there, you as an HR have to go an extra mile assuring that the employee and his/her words are acknowledged.
- Negotiation: Where negotiations come into the picture, it can get ugly. Be it appraisals, exits, or office policies. The HR needs to play a hard job during these times by firstly getting both parties on the same page. Many small companies tend to communicate via the HR, which can deepen the rift between the company and its employees. This is not only wrong, but also hurtful for the employees, as they might feel that their contribution towards the company has not been undervalued. Being a hard negotiator, the HR should carry a neutral outlook while empathizing with both the parties. In negotiations, apart from the body language, phrasing of words should be careful and with choice to avoid any incidental blunders.
- Form Committee: The best way to avoid any altercation is to form committees. This means that the HR should form a committee with project managers and team leaders where they discuss important matters related to office policies, company, employees or anything that has a direct impact on them. This committee helps in creating a much-needed buffer and an effective channel of communication. The management has a platform for them where they can litmus test any new change they are to bring in. This helps in diluting any effect that major changes have and give both the parties a common ground to come together.
Being an HR is a tough job and if you have been in a position where you were stuck between management and your employees, let us know how you dealt with it and we will publish your story.
For other HR-related problems such as payroll and time tracking, we have an amazing cloud-based HR software – Pocket HRMS, which not only lessens your workload but also keeps you on your toes by giving you time to focus better on employee engagement and retention.