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1. Employees deal directly with each other
A person in a cubicle is talking so loudly to their friend on the phone that no one can get their work done. Should employees write HR an email complaining, or just kindly address the person themselves? HR would prefer the second option.
Carroll says that most HR people would agree that, “If there is a situation in the workplace that an employee can resolve on their own and not involve HR, that’s great.”
2. Employees do their part
Carroll recalls how nice it was, in many ways, to work with engineers at a job she held previously. She was at an engineering consulting firm and one of her tasks was to get involved when an employee was having a particularly tough time with benefits providers.
She says, “This one guy was having trouble with a medical claim from several months earlier. He came in to my office with a notebook that had the date and time of each call he had made to our insurance company, who he spoke to and what the conversation was about. His efforts were so engineer-like. And, he made it easy for me, when I got the right people involved, to get things taken care of.”
Carroll said that it reminds her of when she calls for computer help. She always starts by saying, “I have already turned my computer off and back on.” It’s nice when people first do the things that are easy, then ask for help.
3. Employees turn in their forms
HR has to deal with a lot of forms. There are forms for medical benefits, 401K, W-4, I-9, an updated phone number, an updated address, an updated list of dependents, marital status and more. It’s so nice when employees turn these forms in on-time, and with all of the needed information.
4. Managers complete employee evaluations on time
Most managers agree that evaluating their employees is important. But they seem to put the process off because they are too busy with other tasks. Carroll counts it as a favorite when managers take the initiative to get their evaluations done without any encouragement or reminders.
5. Managers and executives express appreciation
A lot of times in HR, you only hear about things that are going wrong. What would it be like if someone in management took the time to compliment people more often for the things that they do right? For example, why not thank the people who process payroll for getting it done on time with the right pay amounts? Everyone just expects payroll to be correct. But, pulling it off deserves a thank you.
6. Everyone limits their drinking at company functions
When the booze is free, people can go beyond their drinking limits quickly. But, at a work event, this is never a good idea. As Carroll says, “Even though it’s a party, it’s still a work function. You have to remember to act professionally.” This extra self-control minimizes the number of messes HR has to sort out the next day.
7. Employees don’t date co-workers
When it comes to light that two employees are dating, teams and departments can suffer from stress as the relationship either grows or falls apart. And, if the situation creates too much drama, HR will eventually have to give their time and energy to sorting out people’s complaints. Everybody loves a good soap opera but not on their work time.
8. Employees dress appropriately
From keeping shirts buttoned up to making sure that shorts don’t get too short, a basic sense of modesty at the work place helps reduce HR’s workload. Whether a new college grad doesn’t understand how to dress appropriately and professionally yet, or a long-time executive has a quirky sense of style, HR doesn’t want to have to get involved.
9. Everyone keeps gossip to a minimum
It’s not uncommon for rumors about people’s personal lives to come up during the workday, or suspicions about where the company is going. These not-so-factual facts can be very destructive. And, it’s often up to HR to get to uncover the truth of the situation and address rumors before they snowball.
10. A company has a good Employee Assistance Program
Workplace issues are really important for HR people to solve. But, when personal issues get into the workplace, HR professionals need a resource to offer to employees. As Carroll says, “When people are dealing with personal stuff, it affects their work. A good EAP program helps with personal issues that affect work.”
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