Human Resource / Workplace Issue


The rapid growth of today's global business may pose challenges to enterprises. The Human Resource (“HR”) department is an important department of any large company or enterprise and plays a key role in managing the company's most valuable resource, employees. It provides a stable environment to help the company operate better, as well as handling employee requirements and compliance issues every day.

Efficient human resources departments can create positive differences in the workplace, because they are actively involved in building company culture and maintaining employee engagement, which will directly affect productivity and business bottom line. On the contrary, HR issues can reduce business efficiency, productivity and reduce employee morale.

 

It is very important to set the right policies and procedures in the Employees Manual / Staff Handbook as the first port of call to resolve common human resource problems. In preparing the Employees Manual / Staff Handbook, HR professionals need to understand human resources issues. Please refer to the separate section on drafting the Employees Manual / Staff Handbook.


A. Workplace Discrimination and Harassment


Workplace diversity includes age, race, gender, and religion, which may lead to discriminatory practices or unequal treatment among employees. Turning a blind eye on this issue is not a wise move for the company, as it may result in low morale, loss of productivity, resignations or even lawsuits by the affected employees. It will also result in reputation damage to the company, and difficulty in future recruitment as no one would want to work for an employer that allows discrimination and harassment. It is thus of fundamental importance for management and HR to take this seriously and investigate each complaint. The safety of employees should always be paramount.


B. Employee Productivity and Morale


Having policies against discrimination and taking employees’ complaints seriously are just the first steps to protect employees. To ensure that employees maintain high efficiency, one will need good HR and organisational management, which in turn will lead to higher job satisfaction. Another way to boost a company’s morale is through incentives and rewards, or even something small like a letter of appreciation or a congratulatory message.

 

C. How to write a Letter of Appreciation / Congratulatory Message

 

It is important to say thank you to an employee who has helped out in the company. This is not only commonly written by the boss to a sub-ordinate, but can also be used to show one’s appreciation to a boss or colleagues. If there is any cause of celebration for an employee, such as a job well done or an anniversary, one could write a congratulatory message to the employee. It is important to bear the following in mind when preparing them:

  1. be sincere and personal in writing the message;  
  2. always start with "thank you" and
  3. end with a positive and genuine statement. 

D. Staff training and development

 

Employees are the company's biggest asset. The HR department is responsible for the implementation of the training plan. Some of these plans are to ensure that the employees comply with policies and procedures, while others are for skill training, increase efficiency and promotion. In some professional environments, employees need to complete certain certification procedures.


E. Compliance Issues


A major purpose of training is to ensure that the employees are fully qualified for their work and understand all company policies. The implementation of company compliance is usually the responsibility of the HR department. Apart from internal policies such as appraisals and annual reviews, there may also be regulatory requirements from the government or professional bodies.

 

If a company policy has been breached or an employee has performance issues, then a letter of warning should be issued by the employer to the employee highlighting the issues, improvement details and expected improvement date. In case of a serious breach of law or government regulations, it could result in termination or report to the relevant authorities.

 

Where there is no compliance, the HR department will also need to ensure compliance with government regulations by the company on issues such as fair wages, discrimination, and leave entitlements. The HR department will also need to be up to speed with new law and regulations to ensure compliance.


F. Internal Memo and Notifications


The HR department may handle many daily requests and questions from employees.  For common HR issues such as annual leaves, dates of appraisal etc., it may be easier to prepare an internal memo or notification to all employees to save response time for the HR department.