A colleague in Human Resources recently asked me… if given the opportunity to directly educate line managers on things important for compliance, what should they include?
Never mind my aversion to HR being the compliance cops. Never mind that.
Never mind my distress at HR wasting quality time with line managers discussing solely compliance issues. Never mind that.
So, “never minding” those things about the question that really, deeply bug me, I told her “Here’s what I would want them to know:”
1. If you aren’t certain what to say, shut up. It’s OK. Really.
2. No employment decisions while angry. Short of a double-homicide, all decisions can wait until clearer heads prevail.
3. An overview (VERY brief) primer on various legislations (kept relevant and again, decidedly brief). “Here’s what it is, why you should care at least a little, and when you should call for help.”
4. Remind them that damned few employment decisions are as cut-and-dried as they may think. Teams of employment lawyers billing hundreds upon hundreds per hour frequently can’t agree.
5. Never start a conversation with me that begins with “I probably should have talked to you first, but…”
(ok, the last one was admittedly selfish)
But to at least touch on the never minds: don’t forget that effective leadership, creating a respectful work environment, having employees believe — really believe — that you want them to be personally successful… these are the things that prevent frivolous lawsuits. Focus on those things, and put that time with line managers to better use.
But that’s just me..