What can bite you in night?


Do you ever wake up in the mid­dle of the night wor­ried?

Of­ten in my role in Hu­man Re­sources I hear of em­ploy­ers who are kept awake at night due to the stresses and is­sues with their em­ploy­ees.

What is keep­ing them awake isn’t just what the em­ployee might have done wrong; some­times it’s some­thing them as the em­ployer has done wrong. Right now, with things in full swing on the farm, it is more com­mon for th­ese sorts of sleep­less nights to hap­pen.

In the dark of the night, the em­ployer has wo­ken up and has that sink­ing feel­ing that they may be be­ing played by an em­ployee. That the em­ployee was wait­ing for them to snap (and they did).

An em­ployee who didn’t have a strong de­sire to work and achieve. An em­ployee who now has a way out that will give them the up­per hand – and po­ten­tially cash.

Yes, the mis­take has al­ready been made. The em­ployer will now have to seek some ad­vice re­gard­ing what can be done to re­trieve the sit­u­a­tion.

So as a good em­ployer, what can you do to pre­vent the thing that can bite you in the night?

Here’s a few of the ba­sics that em­ployer’s must be aware of: Do not lose your tem­per – no mat­ter how pro­voked you feel; Do not swear – at any­one or any­thing; Oth­ers have made the mis­take of swearing at inan­i­mate ob­jects, think­ing that will pre­vent an em­ployee tak­ing of­fence and be­ing in­tim­i­dated – it didn’t and it won’t.

Do not hit any­thing – not ob­jects, and es­pe­cially not an­i­mals; Never sug­gest to an em­ployee that if they aren’t happy they can al­ways leave; Do not ac­cept an em­ployee’s res­ig­na­tion given dur­ing or straight af­ter a dis­pute; Do not try and use a re­ces­sion and a re­struc­ture to re­move an un­der per­form­ing em­ployee. Use per­for­mance man­age­ment.

Al­ways keep the com­mu­ni­ca­tion go­ing and en­sure you deal with an is­sue when it arises – do not leave it and al­low it snow­ball.

Do not as­sume that the em­ployee will have a sense of hu­mour and be able to ‘‘take a joke’’.

Re­mem­ber com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key and tack­ling prob­lems early, train­ing, set­ting clear ex­pec­ta­tions and manag­ing those ex­pec­ta­tions all go a long way to mak­ing and keep­ing good em­ploy­ees.

For any help with re­gards to em­ploy­ment and HR poli­cies please call John at Coop­erAitken Lim­ited. Phone 07 889 8838 or email john@coop­eraitken.co.nz

John Bros­nan.

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