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Latest Blogpost: Balance - Whose side are you on?
I’m often challenged by employees that because Cherington HR is being paid by their employer that I’m there to support the management side in any dispute. It causes me to stop and reflect that the origin of the HR profession’s predecessor, Personnel, which grew out of the old company welfare officer role. The idea being that if the employees’ wellbeing is looked after that this will help the operations of the employer run smoothly. Put simply, this means that by looking after the employees, the company should be in good business health.

What this means in practice is that I often end up finding that an employee has a point about a particular matter that his/her line manager has not fully understood. So my role is as an intermediary in those circumstances. I can then explain the situation to the employer and the implications of actions they may take in response to resolve the situation.

However, if I am asked to undertake an investigation into a grievance or disciplinary case, I can be asked by the employee what percentage of times I recommend upholding the employer’s position. It doesn’t work like that – it depends entirely on the basis of the facts. In some cases I find that the employer has done everything correctly; in others I find the employee has a genuine case; and in some I find both parties have things that they could correct (and will make recommendations accordingly.)

It is in the interest of the employer that such cases are dealt with, and are seen to be dealt with impartially, so that all employees understand that they will be treated fairly, but that equally there are expectations that the employee will perform the job to the best of his/her abilities. By taking this approach I can help employers work more productively with their employees – a win:win situation!
Posted on 27 Mar 2018

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