As an HR Professional, there are times when we get brought into a situation after the fact, when a Manager has done something that might not be well-thought-out. Lately, I’ve run into several cases where Managers have made some clear mistakes, and I have had to help them resolve them in the best manner possible. I thought I’d share a few here.
A Manager figured since that was the way the Employee preferred to be contacted to come in for work or regarding schedule changes etc., that that would be the way to let her know that her employment had ended. Please, have some respect for employees. Call them, meet with them in person, treat them with dignity. A text message saying “don’t come in 2nite. ur employment is terminated” is just simply wrong. Inevitably, said employee has gone to the Ministry of Labour and the Manager will now be paying out termination pay. He’s lucky that’s all.
Reducing someone’s hours once they tell you they’re pregnant.
Hello, there’s something called Human Rights… Regardless of whether they seem tired or you think they need a break to help with the baby, your messing with their income. This never ends well… It could be a simple Ministry of Labour meeting, or it could be a mult-thousand dollar Human Rights case. Whatever the outcome, it’s just wrong to do it. You’ve kept the employee in a certain situation for this long, now you need to do so for another 9 months.
Swearing at and berating employees in public, then firing them because they refuse to be spoken to this way and leave work. Hmmm… where to start… First of all, I’m not sure where anyone got the idea that swearing at or berating anyone, especially someone who works for you, is alright. It’s just plain wrong. If you’ve got a problem, regardless of how angry or worked up the employee gets, you’re their Manager. You need to treat them with respect. If you can’t do it when you’re angry, wait. If you need to, ask them to leave (with pay) until you have a chance to speak with them. If you fire them because they couldn’t put up with your abusive behaviour, you’ll probably be hit with a lawyer’s letter, a Ministry of Labour claim, or, depending on the details, a Human Rights case. None of these are fun. Didn’t your parents ever teach you to count to 10? Seriously.
What sorts of mistakes have you been helping managers clean up?