The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Friday, August 20, 2010


A Human Resource Professional must address tough situations every day. Many times he or she is called upon to make decisions that are "right" for their company but could be uncomfortable for someone else - possibly even to the point of jeopardizing their own job. Making the "right" decision isn't always easy BUT it is all a part of the day for HR Decision-makers. How would YOU handle THESE situations (all really happened) if they were to occur under YOUR watch?

A business owner, strong in sales, walked through his shop talking to employees along the way. He promised to fix this and repair that - but didn't really have the resources to do anything about the problems. His Plant Manager followed in his wake attempting to "undo" the damage his President's hollow promises had done. What would YOU do if you were in a position to make a recommendation to this business owner?

An employee with a poor attendance history had to be let go when her car broke down on the way back from visiting her mother in the hospital. You must enforce the company's attendance policy, greeting the popular, long-term employee at the door with her termination notice. It seems like everyone in the company wants to give the individual "one last chance" though she has clearly abused the system (even though she is portraying that she was fired for visiting her mom in the hospital). What would you do - and how would you handle the termination (if you choose to go that route)?

An employee complains about harassment in the workplace then says he “wants nothing to be done about it – that just talking to you made him feel better.” When you pursue the matter a bit, the employee tells you that if you talk to anyone about his complaint he will never speak to you in confidence again AND he will tell everyone that you cannot be counted on to keep a confidence. What would your next steps be in such a situation?

While most HR Professionals ARE NOT attornies, it seems that we are asked to be "judge and jury" many times in our daily lives. Send me a comment describing how YOU would handle these situations...and feel free to share a situation or event YOU'VE HEARD ABOUT (for others to respond to) when you reply!