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Risk Management in Human Resources

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					Risk Management in Human
        Resources
   An observers view of today’s issues

Research and observation obtained in:

Development and delivery of training and resources in OSH and
injury management, Stress Management, Performance Management
Organisational Communication, Change Management and General
Risk Management to over 2000 Local Government executives,
managers, staff, elected members and volunteers

Extensive experience in healthcare in the areas of accident and
emergency, psychiatry and general nursing involving many cases
with a link to poor HR management or employer negligence.

Personal experience in management at all levels including managing
own staff
      Presentation Outline
Introduction
Areas of potential risk
Achieving goals and objectives
Legislative compliance
Employee / Employer relationships
Handling HR Issues
Signs of things going wrong
Stress and the workplace
Where to from here
         Areas of Potential Risk
Failing to meet goals and objectives as set down in
policies, plans and procedures

Failing to comply with legislative requirements relating to
the employment of staff and management of personnel

Failing to manage the relationship between employee and
employer based on the in-house governing policies,
procedures and employment contracts

Failure to handle human resource issues correctly at all
levels
Achieving Goals and Objectives
  Strategic HR Plan

  Appropriate staffing levels

  Appropriate skills and knowledge mix

  Up to date position descriptions and KPIs

  Effective Recruitment

  Pre employment checks – health and references
      Complying with Legislation
  For example …..

     Local Government Act
     Industrial Relations Act
     OSH Act
     Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act
     Equal Opportunity Act


Ability to prove that you have complied is the key
issue in HR Risk Management
Employee – Employer Relationships
  Based on policies, procedures, operational
  plans, understanding employment contracts,
  employee expectations and TRUST!

  All employees need to know what is expected
  of them and how they are doing.

  All managers need the above as well as
  knowledge of how to manage people and
  performance, within organisational and
  legislative frameworks.
         Handling HR Issues
Ground rules and expectations set
Comprehensive orientation ( particularly in
promotions from within)
Skills and knowledge in all management areas
Strong performance management focus
Constant monitoring and review
Early intervention for change management
Effective communication at all levels
Sound feedback process
Workload assessment processes in place
    Signs of things going wrong
Active grapevine
Industrial disputes or increased union activity
Increased absenteeism
Increase in incidents or accidents
Workers compensation claims
Conflict in the workplace
Increased turnover against industry trends
Poor morale
Low productivity
Stress in the workplace – real or perceived
    Psychological Illness




The emerging HR issue for Organisations in the
                 21st Century
                     The Changes

Organisationally

   New technology
   More rapid communication
   Downsizing
   Multi skilling of employees
   Reduced no. of „floating‟ positions
   Expectations higher
   More accountability
                 The Changes
Individually


  More informed /educated workforce
  Overqualified staff
  Greater job mobility
  Job insecurity
  Diverse job roles / unclear boundaries
  Dual working parents
  Less social infrastructure eg extended families, local pub
                   The Numbers

• ComCare stress claims (1993) 4.3% claims / 18% costs


• Workcover WA ( 2000 /01) 2.02% claims - aver cost   44%


• MWS (2001 / 02) 2.67% of claims – 9% costs
                    Warning Signs


Unplanned absences for Workers Compensation stress
related claimants in one year was 3.8% higher
(34.4 days compared 9.1 days per year)
                                   ComCare Quality of Life Study Findings 1990 – 1993




An unrelated 1996 study showed that 42% of the surveyed
workers reported taking time off in the previous 12 months
due to stress.
                    WA Local Government Stressors
                                                                             2003 Espire (JLT) survey results

                             Organisational         Critical
         Performance                                                Increased w orkload /
                              Structure &         Incidents
         Management                                                Performance Pressure
                                 Morale
 Organisational                                      4%
                                       6%
 Change/                                                                   22%
 Restructure         10%

            11%




                                                                                        22%
                    12%
                                                      13%
                                                                                        Conflict at Work
             Family / Work
               Conflict                       Poor Communication
                                                    styles




Predominately Management System Issues –
                        only 16% are individual‟s issues
             Areas Perceived Most Affected by Stress
                               by WA Local Governments
                                                       Waste
                            Library & Others
                                                     Management
                                                                   Management
    Parks & Gardens                             4%       3%
                                    4%
Community              7%                                            27%
Services
            9%




                 12%

                                               13%                     21%

Building & Construction
(Road Workers)                                                    Administrative w orkers
                                      Ranger Services




      Vulnerable groups who direct other areas
       Increased Workload / Performance Pressure

Physical Health
    • Higher blood cholesterol levels
    • Coronary heart disease / heart attack
    • Escapist drink and drug abuse (liver dysfunction)

Psychological Health
   • Lowered confidence
   • Decreased work motivation
   • Deterioration in interpersonal relationships
Job Performance
   • Increased absenteeism
   • Increased accident rates
   • Decrease in decision making quality
   • Decreased productivity
                    Two Perspectives
Quantitative Overload
    • Perception of too much to do
    • Too many different things to do
    • Insufficient time
    • Too many interruptions

Qualitative Overload
   • Lacking ability / skills / training to complete their jobs
   • Performance standards set too high, taking work home
   • Poor time management practices
                   Conflict at Work
• HR management systems control
  this if internal


• External stressors come from
  client interface – protocols,
  skills and training required to
  address this


• Interpersonal skills at all levels
  needed
Poor Communication Styles

    • Two way communication between
        management and staff


    • Clear communication of tasks
       and expectations



     • Clear lines of accountability
       and responsibility
Family / Work Conflict


   • Requires trust, confidentiality, empathy and
     early action
   • EAP services
   • Reduce impact on        employees   acting     as
     “pseudo” counsellors
   • Trained managers
        Organisational Change / Restructure


• Causes uncertainty
• Threat to job security
• Threat to comfort zone
• Increase in „Grapevine‟ traffic
• Perceptions become fact if not addressed
    Performance Management

•   Devolved responsibility for performance management
•   Limited manager training
•   Unclear objectives in performance management (PM)
•   Increased manager stress in doing PM
•   Lack of skills / knowledge in industrial relations issues
•   Can lead to stress claims if poorly
    managed and documented
        Organisational Structure and Morale
Key issues
Low morale affects stress outcomes more than high distress
Roles and ORG structure not clearly defined
Unclear accountabilities and responsibilities
Appropriate recruitment and sound orientation processes
Effective management systems with staff interaction
Outcomes
Enthusiasm and pride in the workplace
Increased team spirit and psychological health
Increased productivity
Critical Incidents
    • Debriefing within 3 days to relieve
      stress and prevent potential long term
      psychological effects
    • Investigation for causative or
      contributing factors and potential
      impact on other staff
    • Preventative strategies explored and
      actions taken
                      Summary
Psychological health at work needs:
             •      Strong Framework
             •      Functional Systems
             •      Reduced Exposure
             •      Commitment
In Case of Stress




                BANG HEAD HERE
        Where to from here
Do a risk audit on your HR systems and
processes
Consider an employee satisfaction survey
Keep an eye out for signs of things going
wrong and address as early as possible
Seek help from peers and peak bodies to
identify areas of concern and early
intervention strategies
Keep your ear to the ground and don’t
presume that if a policy or procedure is in
place it is being followed!

				
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