HR Nugget – Dealing with Sickness Absence

Every month we will send you a useful nugget of information that takes only two – three minutes to read. We hope you enjoy our HR Nuggets and find them useful.

 Dealing with Sickness Absence

Sick leave costs Irish employees hundreds of thousands of euro each year.  The cost is not only financial costs, but also the disruption to the business and the amount of management time consumed on managing sick leave is significant.

In this month’s Nugget Right Hand HR give you a number of top tips for dealing with sickness absence.  These include:

  • Have a written sickness policy – Documentation is very important and is the first thing an employer should refer to as this ensures all employees are dealt with in a fair and systematic manner.  If you do not have a policy right Hand HR can support you with this.
  • Keep in touch with employee during sick leave – The employer still has obligations to employee while on sick leave.
  •  Obtain regular updates on the employee’s medical condition.
  • Keep records – this is crucial.  Make a note of when you contacted the employee and what the employee told you.
  • Conduct return to work interviews – these can be informal but ensure in all cases that the policy is applied consistently to all employees.  This does not mean that common sense cannot be applied.
  • Don’t terminate unless you have engaged.

Make sure you have the facts
Make sure the employee is aware that you are considering termination
Give the employee a chance to respond to any decision the company may be taking.

There is lots of evidence of case law where employees have successful won cases they have taken against their employer.  The key for the employer is that the Sick Leave Policy is applied consistently and that the employees are aware of the policy.   Employees can take a case under many of the Acts such as the Disability Act.

If you want more information please contact Mary.

 

Workplace Mediation Tips

HR Nugget  –  February  2014
Every month we will send you a useful nugget of information that takes only two – three minutes to read. At the bottom of this page, you can share this subscription with others or unsubscribe yourself. We hope you enjoy our HR Nuggets and find them useful.

 Workplace Mediation Tips

Workplace mediation is becoming more widely used as a means for resolving conflict.  Mediation provides an opportunity for those involved to address the issues, explore options and reach a workable outcome through a mutually agreeable course of action.

The advantage of using workplace mediation is that it allows a problem to be resolved informally, by ensuring that all sides are heard.  The process also means that participants are involved in finding an agreed solution as they work together to solve the problem.

Conflict in any organisation can do enormous damage. Mistakenly, disputes are often left to fester and thereby become more difficult to resolve.

Here are some tips for workplaces to boost the chances of a successful mediation:

  •  Address situations early, as unresolved conflict is highly damaging for businesses
  •  Give a clear outline of how the mediation will work so parties understand their role
  •  Meditations can take several days so allow time and space for the mediation to work If  decisions need to be made, involve someone with the authority to make them
  • Engage external support early if needed, to reduce the toll on all workers
  • Don’t rush the process; the pre-meetings/interviews are just as critical as the mediation itself
  • Make sure all parties understand the need for confidentiality

I recommend you only use the mediation process with a qualified mediator, which Right Hand HR can offer.  If you want more information please contact Mary.

 

HR Nugget – Training – Mentoring – Coaching – What is the difference?

HR Nugget  –  January 2014

Every month we will send you a useful nugget of information that takes only two – three minutes to read. At the bottom of this page, you can share this subscription with others or unsubscribe yourself. We hope you enjoy our HR Nuggets and find them useful.

Training – Mentoring – Coaching – What is the difference? 

Interview

Simply put, the main difference is in how directive the method is.

Training tells people what to do, it’s a “Here’s how you do it” approach that works well for technical things and hard skills, where there is literally only one right way of doing it, e.g. you follow steps 1 – 24 exactly to assemble the machine or it won’t work!

Mentoring guides and advises, it’s a “Have you tried this way?” approach that works well for people who are new to a job or position and need some guidance to find their way more quickly and painlessly, e.g. A mentor might make some introductions to key people or resources, guide their mentee onto the right track.

Coaching empowers by asking the right questions, it’s a “You know the solution” approach that works well for soft skills and confidence building, where personality plays a big role and what works for one person might not work for another, e.g. a coach might enable the coachee to see things from different perspectives and thus find a solution.

Coaching needs to be done by a professional who has a background in executive coaching, proper training and years of experience, whereas training and mentoring can be done by senior employees for their juniors after a basic “train the trainer” or “introduction to mentoring skills” workshop (we can offer these for you).

If you want more information please contact Mary or Diarmuid.

Right Hand HR in conjunction with DPR Associates  offers a unique approach to coaching.  We address employee engagement and leadership issues and offer training programmes to suit your needs.