Human Resources plays a crucial role in helping to create a positive workplace culture and supporting the staff. When an employee has a concern, how Human Resources addresses it demonstrates how the company values their employees. Successful companies often have higher retention rates because they address the issues that employees face in an efficient manner. Therefore, quick and appropriate action is necessary, so it’s important to have protocol in place before an incident happens.

The way HR collects information about an employee’s concern greatly impacts how useful the information will be. When an employee seeks out HR, they are generally already to the point that they are upset about a situation. In this case, allowing them to vent can go a long way for establishing trust and helping employees to release some stress. Jot down notes about the situation and practice active listening to ensure they feel heard. Once you have a gist of their concerns, ask any necessary clarifying questions, and let the person know you will look into this matter further, keeping their name out of any issues that involve other employees. Keep them in the loop (in a general sense) about how their concern is being dealt with.

Take some time to think over the situation, as well as any patterns you are noticing amongst employees. Is there a general sense of negativity in the workplace? Perhaps people from the same department are burning out quickly. Keeping records of these concerns and observations can help you establish patterns, leading to determining the cause of the issue.

When a pattern is recognized and the cause is known, you may consider speaking with your supervisor about how to deal with the issue, for example, how to approach a manager that is demanding too much of their department. Create a plan and meet with the necessary parties to share your findings, as well as next steps to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again.

While this all seems straightforward and easy, unfortunately, it does not always happen this way. Often times employees don’t feel comfortable talking about their issues with HR or a supervisor, preferring rather to discuss amongst co-workers, which can create a sense of mistrust between employees and supervisors. Other reasons employees don’t go to Human Resources may include a scattered workforce/remote working culture, unavailability of Human Resources due to their own workload, not enough Human Resources to support the company staff etc.

Innovative companies like Advizzy have come up with a solution for this problem, in the form of anonymous advisory platforms. Companies can include a membership to Advizzy in their employee benefits package. Allowing employees to request anonymous advice from colleagues in their workplace, as well as other users plus professionals on Advizzy, provides a safe and reliable way to receive timely and quality advice. Best of all, companies can receive reports of employee concern categories, such as career development, so that Human Resources can address common issues with the entire staff without an individual having to come forward and disclose anything to HR.

In conclusion, companies that are proactive in finding ways to maintain talent not only have happier workplaces, but are more productive and profitable.