September 7th, 2012, 6:11 am
Human resources and employees of a business are inextricably linked and the issues faced by one will undoubtedly affect the other. It’s the job of the human resources professional to take care of the employees so issues with them are issues with HR. As companies continue to grow and diversify, the need for a fully functioning and issue-free human resources department is in demand. But people, individually, are different and inevitably problems will arise. Here are five of the most common.
Leaves of absence – Whether it be for military leave, maternity leave, or general sick leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) states that the employee cannot be fired for these reasons. It’s a common HR issue because if someone goes on leave, or multiple people utilize this time it seriously reduces staffing causing a strain on the company.
Hiring the right person – Job functions differ greatly and this can be tough for the HR representative. There’s a lot of pressure in hiring a person that is not only capable but also fits in well with the company culture. Employees also feel this anxiety because ultimately they will have to train and integrate the new person. Bringing someone new in, however needed and positive it may turn out, is stressful for everyone.
Communication – The HR department is involved in many different branches of the company including payroll, benefits, and compensation. These departments, in turn, have their own managers and staff so it becomes the duty of the head of HR to keep everyone informed, in line, and on the same page. The more people, the trickier it becomes.
Staying informed – Benefits and compensation packages change consistently and it’s the job of the HR manager to stay abreast of these changes. To ensure that the employees are maximizing their benefits the HR manager must understand and implement new legislation which can be daunting.
Legal issues – While benefit and compensation changes are technically legal issues, this refers to aspects such as discrimination (racial, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc.), and sexual harassment. If an employee comes to the HR department to report a co-worker of sexual harassment it’s an issue that has to be dealt with swiftly, legally, and completely lest the issue grow jeopardizing the company as a whole.
Being an HR professional is a tough job. Not only do you have to understand people very well but you also have to understand the company culture. Issues will always arise but by being aware of the most common you can better prepare yourself to be an effective employee and HR professional.
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