Stage 1: Crisis
It always happens at the worst time—an employee and a supervisor have an argument and refuse to speak to each other, an employee calls out sick and then you find out he’s in treatment for substance abuse, an employee reports that she’s being harassed. You’ve never had to deal with this situation before and you don’t even know where to start. At best, it’s going to take time and energy away from your focus on your business. At worst, it could lead to a lawsuit, a DOL audit, or an OSHA investigation.
“Our first contact with a client is often a 911 call,” says Pardoe. “A lot of times, the manager or business owner sees in 20/20 hindsight that a small issue became a crisis because of a lack of structure and information or a manager’s reluctance to address an employee issue. I believe that business owners and CEOs are great at running their business, but they’re not always great at handling HR issues. That’s not their expertise. Whatever the problem is, we’ll find the best solution together, and then we’ll move on to preventing future problems so they can focus on what they’re great at.”