Here’s what I know: back-to-work conduct issues are on the rise

  • Business Advice
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Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

In the present situation, with many people having just got back to work after a long time out of the office, there is a great deal of stress and worry about employment prospects. This might be what you’re seeing in your workplace and if it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one.

Over the past two months, calls to our helpline have been at record levels with many relating to conflict and stress in the workplace. And while each case is different, there are two pieces of key advice we give to everyone.

Firstly, make sure you have legally sound processes in place to handle staff conduct issues. Without clear procedures to follow on dispute resolution, it’s easy to make HR mistakes that could land you in hot water.

Secondly, find out and face the issues head on. During Covid there’s been a great deal of uncertainty. Your people may have come off and on furlough and returned to a different type of workplace, which may result in restructured job specifications or even the threat of redundancy. It’s not surprising, therefore, that your staff may be a bit on edge.

But what can you do about it? Start by making the wellbeing of your people a top priority.

For example, many businesses big and small now invest in employee assistance programmes (EAP) to help their employees through personal issues. That includes providing access to professional counselling support to overcome challenges such as mental ill health, stress, anxiety, financial issues and so on.

If your business benefits from our EAP, make sure they know how to access the service to help them get them back into work in the best possible frame of mind. 

Next, take this one simple step to boost performance. Praise your staff. Remember, many people worked long and hard hours during the pandemic, often in incredibly difficult situations.

And while you may not be able to offer your team bonuses, pay rises or promotions right now, make sure you find meaningful ways to say thank you.

For example, at Peninsula we’re holding a celebratory event for those in our business who kept their spirits up and delivered great service to our clients throughout the pandemic.

But you don’t have to go that far. In fact, you’d be surprised at how much a sincere handwritten thank-you could mean from the boss to someone.

Praise won’t solve all your staff conduct issues. But it will help keep the superstars in your team motivated and make it easier for you to create a productive and profitable atmosphere in your workplace.

If you need support managing tricky conduct issues, give your team of HR advisers a call today for practical tips and advice.

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