HR Jetpack

HR & Managers as Partners

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HR & Managers as Partners

Lesson Content

All too often I have worked with managers who did not seem to understand the value and importance of a strong HR support team. I am not sure why this is, but thankfully over time, I have been able to educate managers about the incredibly valuable service that you in HR provides the company.

I believe that the disciplinary process is one where managers really need to be educated and trained. They need to know the legal pitfalls that can come with not understanding and following a policy and therefore not being compliant with the law. Bottomline, managers need to know how to “manage” their people in good times and in bad.

I like to share articles and case studies with my managers. I send them legal bulletins or outcomes of legal cases so they can better understand the importance of properly working through the termination process and working as a team with HR. Let’s face it, we can save our companies thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees if we are allowed to do our jobs properly and if managers will follow our guidance.

Over the years, I have had to work with many managers who walk into my office and say, “I want to terminate so and so.” After some Q&A, I find out that they have not even spoken to “so and so”, nor have they documented anything.

This is when I have to deliver the news that unless it’s a case of willful misconduct, for example, theft, that we are not ready to nor are we going to move to an immediate termination.

Instead, I walk them through the process that we are going to follow and explain that if we don’t follow the best practices laid out in these processes, we as a company, have opened ourselves up to a potential lawsuit, discrimination complaint, or other liability. It is all about educating the team and working together to achieve the same goals.

Also, when HR and Managers work together as a team, it is more likely that the right decision regarding the future status of the employee, will be reached. We need each other to fill in the blanks, get the information and therefore be able to follow the process together. In a sense, we act as a system of checks and balances with one another.

I have always made it a practice to help managers write disciplinary action write-ups, and I encourage companies that as part of their process, they should make sure HR review all disciplinary actions for consistency, legal compliance, any possible EEO violations, and whatever disciplinary action being taken, meets the employee’s level of infraction.

In addition, to being coached on how to write the Disciplinary Action, managers should all receive extensive coaching on how to deliver them. More on this in another lesson.

Liz LaForte


Liz LaForte

Liz has been an HR professional for more years than she cares to share! In that time she has seen it all, she has hired them all, let some of...

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