Take the time to really listen to employees before responding, and encourage your leadership to do the same. A thoughtful response will show your workforce that you genuinely care about their concerns and will work with them to find the optimal solution.
4. Understand Compliance
As with most facets of HR, there are important legal considerations to take into account before pursuing any course of action. As the political landscape continues to make headlines, be ready to address instances of internal tensions in your workplace. Know your legal rights as an employer and be aware of any compliance caveats. Though free speech is a national right, if an employee’s off-duty conduct caused a tangible, negative impact on the business, employers typically have the right to terminate them. Don’t make any rash decisions without getting the facts first.
5. Document Everything
Though asking employees to submit a PTO request can seem like a formality, this kind of recordkeeping provides HR with context in times of crisis. Kaplan reportedly responded to employee criticism by saying that he had taken a personal day during the hearing. However, “according to the company’s internal human resources software, [he] had not taken a personal day to attend the hearing. Only later last Thursday did someone at Facebook update the system to say Mr. Kaplan had taken a personal day.”
Though it seems small, this contributed to the employee perception that Kaplan was acting as a representative of the company in his support of Kavanaugh. Documenting everything from time off to employee complaints will help you better understand the big picture should an issue arise.
At its best, HR has the power to give employees a voice and unite teams. In a time when political and social tensions are high, it’s no surprise that good people can butt heads on certain issues. Don’t let workplace conflict poison your work environment. Take note of HR lessons from companies like Facebook and use that to improve employee communication and protect your company culture.
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