The answers you will find in this section are generic and should not be treated as legal advice. They are for education and guidance purposes, designed to ensure that business owners ask the right questions of their advisors and have a context within which to take informed decisions. In all scenarios, there are a number of factors which should influence your decision-making. These include:
- the legal context
- your sector norms
- what your contract of employment says
- how much of a risk the situation poses to your business
- the actual or potential costs involved
- your personality and attitude to risk
- the views and perception of your employees
There are also some basic rules which we advise you to follow:
- Be consistent – You do not want the risk of a discrimination claim
- between employees
- over time
- Practice what you preach and lead by example.
- Document what you do, then do it, do not break your own rules.
- Be realistic
- Communicate everything
- Take your staff on your journey with you. You need them.
HR is not a science but neither is it an art form. There are rules and guidelines which you should follow but if you choose not to, understand the risks.
Managing people takes practice and you will not get it right every time. Sometimes, the best intentions are twisted, perceived in a different way to that which we intended and stored up to be used against us when we least expect it. Try to take a step back from difficult or confrontational situations. Pause for thought before reacting. Save a draft of your email before hitting send and seek advice first if there is any chance of things backfiring later.
Just because you are a successful business owner, doesn’t mean you are going to be an amazing manager, at least not initially. Practice makes perfect. If you have difficult news or feedback, write it down and practice it aloud. If you are interviewing, do a couple of practice sessions with a friend or partner. If you need someone to do something they do not want to do, plan your strategy. Understand what their objections might be and figure out how to overcome them and incentivise them…. It is not all about the money.
The questions and answers that you will find in this section are typical of the issues we help our client deal with on a day-to-day basis. We would love to hear from you and if you have a question that you would like answered, please pop it in an email to us at email@example.com or send it to us via twitter @DOHR and #askDOHR.