Top 3 HR mistakes to avoid

Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all made mistakes in addressing employee issues at some stage in our careers, in fact I am guessing that some of us still are?

Expert Toni Robinson takes you on a whistle stop tour of the top three most common HR mistakes made in business.

1. Redundancy – the easy way out

Using redundancy as a vehicle to overcome poor performance is as old as the Employment Rights Act itself! Try telling the chairperson of an employment tribunal that you don’t need a salesperson anymore. Really? You don’t need sales? Or is it that your sales person is not performing to your expectations so you don’t want them anymore? So, it is actually a performance management issue, dressed up to look like a redundancy. Using a redundancy to address a performance management issue will almost definitely be quicker, but will almost certainly be seen as unfair in the eyes of the law.

Why not take advice on approaching a protected conversation if speed is of the essence?

2. Head in the sand

Has ignoring an issue in the history of time ever made a problem go away? Never for me! Ignoring a tricky employee only makes the matter harder to tackle when the tie comes to eventually address it. It can also lead to the issues being viewed as acceptable by the company; which quite often is not the case.

My tip: see it, sort it; it is always better to have open and honest communication.

3. Rules are made to be broken

So many employers today fail to follow their own disciplinary procedure. Why? ‘Because it’s gross misconduct, so I can just fire them right?’ or, ‘it’s only a verbal warning so I can just tell them they have a warning and put it on their file can’t I?’ Or my personal favourite: ‘I’ve been told that I can correct everything at appeal, so I thought it would be quicker this way’.

Myths, all myths! Regardless of how serious the misconduct, your process is meant to be followed (even if it isn’t contractual). If you chose not to, then the upshot could be that you lose a challenge for unfair dismissal on procedural grounds – despite having that all important fair reason.

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