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How to Navigate Personnel Problems as an HR Manager

Rare is the individual who has not experienced problem at work. Be it a slacking co-worker, a workplace safety concern, or an overly critical supervisor, any unresolved issue can lead to a toxic work environment and greatly decrease productivity.

The Human Resources department holds a critical role in resolving workplace issues and disputes to ensure high employee morale and maximum productivity. While the role definition is straightforward, how HR experts resolve personnel problems and keep the workplace running at peak efficiency is a much more complex matter.

What Are the Typical Responsibilities of HR Professionals?

An HR professional's responsibilities touch many aspects of company operations. Chief among these is hiring and retaining great employees. An attractive compensation and benefits package is only part of the offering. In addition, it takes a welcoming corporate culture to retain good employees, and skilled HR professionals work with senior executives to foster such a culture.

HR professionals help staff stay up to speed on required training as well as optional employee development. By rewarding good work, they help maximize productivity and boost morale.

How Do HR Mangers Resolve Conflicts?

Of course, the best way to manage a conflict is to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place. It's vital for HR executives to foster an atmosphere of open and honest dialogue. Doing so helps employees feel comfortable about approaching HR with any conflicts they are having with co-workers and supervisors, or even non-work issues that may be affecting their performance at work.

HR professionals with excellent listening and communication skills can help employees feel at ease broaching touchy subjects. Problems are then handled more quickly and easily while they are still minor issues.

Legislation exists to help HR professionals pro-actively prevent and handle problems that employees may have with each other or with management. These laws define parameters for overtime, minimum compensation, employee benefits and healthcare, and safety in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws are among the most significant and overarching.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the EEO laws. According to the EEOC, EEO laws "make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit."

Having a thorough familiarity with these laws and how they relate to a company's hiring practices, employee relations and office culture is essential for any HR executive. Knowing and enforcing EEO guidelines ensures that an organization is always in compliance with the law and offers a welcoming workplace.

Where Can You Get the Right Tools To Be An Effective HR Exec?

If you're interested in a leadership role in human resources, it's important to get the best possible education.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) offers a respected online MBA program with an emphasis in Human Resources. As part of the core program, you'll take courses on Strategic Management, Financial Management, Management Economics and Accounting. Courses on Human Resource Management and Supervisory Management will cover EEO regulations as well as the intricacies of hiring, solving personnel issues, and providing staff training.

SOSU's online MBA combines a management foundation with an HR emphasis to prepare you for HR leadership. You can tailor the program to work for you by taking a course load that fits your schedule. Gain specialized knowledge and hone the right skills to confidently navigate the HR challenges of any workforce.

Learn more about the SOSU online MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources program.


Sources:

The Balance: Top 10 Toughest HR Questions -- Asked and Answered

HR Zone: Top 10 Issues for HR Teams and How to Fix Them

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Best Practices for Employers and Human Resources/EEO Professionals

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Overview

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