Best HR Advice and Chats – Part 1

Human Resources is a strange, strange world to be in most of the time. The things we see, the things we say, the things we have to do… There does tend to be some conversations and HR advice that I’ve had to deliver more times than I care to count, regardless of the company I was working. My friends have long encouraged me to share some of my top “HR Chats” with all of you – hopefully you find insight, guidance, and perhaps humor in them. And if you have been at the receiving end of an HR chat, I’d love to hear all about it (and maybe add another to my ever growing list).

Free HR Advice

Issue: Boss and employee not on the same page in regards to performance

To the employee: “I get that you think you are delivering at a high level. But unfortunately, your boss is seeing things a bit differently. You see, you are on this side of the bridge, and he is on the other side of the bridge. We need to find a way to have you both meet in the middle. Remember, that his perception of your output is critically important – so I’m here to help you both find a way to the center.”

To the manager: “We all want your employee to succeed. And I can see you are frustrated with the perceived level of output. We need to set very clear expectations to ensure that the employee knows exactly what success looks like and so you are able to objectively measure performance. Let’s get you both on the same page so we can go forward at the necessary performance level.”

 Issue: Employee refuses to sign their performance review/evaluation form

To the employee: “I understand that you do not agree with everything that is included in your performance review, and therefore do not want to sign your name to it. Remember that signing your name only indicates that you two have a conversation, not agreement – but I want to be sure your issues are addressed as well. Here’s what I would recommend: why don’t you write a one page response that I can include with the final signed copy of your review, in your employee file. If you would like to file an official complaint of any sort, let’s take care of that separately as well. And I’m always here to listen to your grievances if needed.”

To the manager: “Please review the form one more time to ensure that everything you have included is free of unnecessary superlatives and fully objective and documented. If you feel as though you could defend every sentence without issue, no updates are needed. To move forward, we need to get you both on the same page to ensure that the next review is not a surprise, so I’d suggest you make a few tweaks to your management style to help us all get there – mainly, you need to providing honest and open feedback on an ongoing basis to your employees. Let’s talk more about how that works.”

Issue: Employee demands a raise

To the employee: “I am happy to look into the possibility of a raise for you. You know that we typically do not award raises except during review time, but I’d like to give you the opportunity to share some insight with me about your request. First, let’s talk about why you feel as though you deserve a raise. Next, I’d like you to present me some examples that support your request – ways that you have gone above and beyond and exhibited output at the next level, from the past six months. Once we have all of that together, we will review it with your manager and move forward.”

To the manager: “How was this request brought to your attention? What are your thoughts on the employee’s overall output, performance, importance in the organization, and the urgency to retain this employee? Are they a critical member of the team/would we be ok if we lost him? Do you have the room in your budget to sustain this raise? How would this raise request fit when aligned with the corporate pay ranges and those on your team?”