By; GEOFFREY H. HOPPER, AN ATTORNEY WITH THE LAW FIRM OF HOPPER & ASSOCIATES
A substantial portion of disharmony involving employees, as well as litigation, could be avoided simply by providing more training to supervisors. In particular, as to how to deal with people, as well as employment practices, laws and procedures. Such training oftentimes is ignored by employers, because the financial return on such an investment is not immediately ascertainable. Typically, the best employers are those that have been through the litigation process in one degree or another and understand that it is better to invest minimal amounts in training and education up front, versus significant amounts later in retraining replacements and/or retaining attorneys.
For the most part, bosses and supervisors training is either by word of mouth and/or on the job training, which is sometimes combined with a brief orientation process. This procedure is about as effective as bringing in a union to increase your employee’s productivity levels. Effective options for training and education (besides reading my book) include a formalized orientation program, seminars, a mentoring program (wherein one employee is designated as a type of big brother or sister to other employees), other books, videos, etc. The amount of training and education will of course vary with the various jobs involved. The weakest link typically in the employment chain, however, has been mid-management. These are usually individuals who have been rapidly transferred to supervisory positions with little or no training, and make big mistakes that are very costly for the employer, and then ask for a raise.
As it relates to education and training, as well as obtaining advice from “consultants” on human resource matters, BE VERY CAREFUL. These days there are a glut of so-called human resource consultants who frequently create more problems than they cure. There is little or no regulation or licensing in this area. Accordingly, most small companies hire employees to serve several functions including human resources, and then send these employees out for training. Larger companies will want skilled professionals with either college degrees in human resources, or years of experience, or both. Be leery of the so-called “Human Resource Consultants”, without first checking out their credentials, references and experience in litigation.