Doug Battista has a wealth of experience in the field of human resources. While he’s dedicated himself to the field over the years, Doug Battista has seen some classic mistakes made by human resource staff members. When this happens, Doug Battista explains, the entire human resource department may fail to make an impact in the business.
Fortunately, most HR departments are headed up by experienced professionals who can help guide team members in the right direction. But in smaller organizations with only one or two HR staff members, inexperience or inadequacies can have a negative impact on the success of the organization, according to Doug Battista.
Doug Battista points to several key areas where an HR worker must perform up to task. Failure to do so can be disastrous, Doug Battista explains, resulting in low morale, resignations, and even legal action. Some of those key areas include:
- Responding to employee complaints. When an employee has a problem—whether it be with a supervisor, a co-worker, or the structure of the organization—that employee seeks out the assistance of human resources. Doug Battista emphasizes that this is the time HR needs to step forward to help. Unfortunately, HR often defers to outside HR representatives or the legal team to handle these matters, at which point everything stalls. If this inactivity continues too long, the employee’s morale will drop or, says Doug Battista, legal action may ensue.
- Failure to document. Doug Battista can’t stress enough the importance of documenting issues, especially in regard to disciplinary issues. Too often, HR fails to keep proper documentation and a firing is ruled unjust in a lawsuit. By carefully documenting each instance of bad behavior, an HR worker can successfully discipline negative employee behavior, Doug Battista has found.
- Lack of communication. This encompasses many areas of an HR worker’s job, but in this instance it refers to a failure to address key issues that impact an employee. HR consultants are often the keepers of “change management,” Doug Battista explains, so it is imperative that when a key player in a company is fired or a merger is pending that the HR consultant be as up front as possible, while still remaining positive.
An HR person is often called upon to act as coach, mentor, and advisor, says Doug Battista. By maintaining these areas, an HR consultant can maintain trust among workers.