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Business managers are often faced with the task of solving human resources issues, and there are several tips that can be followed in order to address such problems. First, managers should define the issue, determining whether it is a simple problem that can be resolved easily by internal means or if it is a more difficult situation that might require outside intervention. The next step could be to meet with the individuals involved and attempt to reach a satisfactory solution. In certain cases, the matter can be resolved internally — otherwise, it may be necessary to seek external guidance or legal counsel. Maintaining employee productivity and morale can be difficult when human resources issues are not addressed, or when they are handled inappropriately.
Workplace environments are unique, and each has its own variety of human resources issues. Some common problems can include interpersonal conflicts between coworkers as well as disagreements between employees and their supervisors. Serious issues might include harassment, discrimination, and any other disputes that create a hostile work environment. The existence of an issue itself, or the fact that issues are not dealt with effectively, can lead to problems such as employee dissatisfaction and apathy in the workplace. Defining an issue and committing to addressing it are common first steps for managers.
Another tip for solving human resources issues is to obtain information from the relevant parties, first deciding whether it would be beneficial to speak with them individually or to have a meeting with everyone involved. Maintaining confidentiality is often a priority, in order to avoid problems with gossip or other types of discord within the organization. Some problem solving skills that managers should demonstrate in these situations include active listening and facilitation of dialogue between the quarreling parties.
Managers without specific human resources training might find it necessary to discuss the issue with the appropriate human resources staff member, if one is available. Otherwise, one might refer to internal written policies for guidance. Many organizations have handbooks or other materials to be consulted when facing human resources issues.
An effective manager usually knows when to address a problem and when to let a smaller issue go. Some human resources issues are beyond the scope of one's supervisory or managerial duties. If using internal methods to solve human resources issues is not feasible, then it may be necessary to seek outside assistance, such as professional mediation, especially with matters that could lead to legal proceedings. In these cases, it is vital to maintain one's professionalism by handling such disputes discreetly.
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