HR Update Issue 13 – 2014

Known as ‘boomerang employees’, there are pros and cons in re-employing previous staff members. Football players (and coaches) are notorious for moving between teams and sometimes codes – and are often rehired by their former clubs. Elizabeth Taylor even married Richard Burton twice – not that it worked second time around – but sometimes it does.
The ‘boomerang employee’ concept has had renewed focus over the past few years – with businesses attempting to get their old team back after they have up-skilled with other employers.

Two questions to consider:
1. Is there a valid reason to bring them back? You have to consider if they are better than someone new or an existing employee you could train.

2. Have they up-skilled since leaving and can bring fresh ideas from a different organisation/industry that could improve the team/business?
As with everything in life – there are pros and cons to re-employment for businesses. Some are outlined below:

Pros: Cons:
They already under-stand the business and the culture – sometimes the biggest hurdle is integrating someone new into your culture/work style. There is a reason they left in the first place – whether they jumped or were pushed – the reason may be reflected in how they will settle back in and per-form.
It costs less – hiring from a talent pool of previous employees can be up to 60 per cent cheaper – and often easier to retain long term. Old grievances could re-surface – if they left be-cause they were ‘laid off’ or they had issues with a manager/employee – these problems could come back to haunt you.
You know what you are getting – you know their work ethic and their ability to meet deadlines – but you know their weaknesses as well. You might not get what you thought you would. People change over time as do businesses. In most cases this is for the better (i.e. skills), however in some cases some changes may no longer suit your business needs or your memory or perception of them may have ‘distorted’ or faded over time.

(Source: HCOnline, by Caitlin Nobes, 21 July 2014)


Toughest work chats

If you’ve been in business or management for a while you would have had to tackle some difficult topics with staff or colleagues. It doesn’t matter how many times you have had to do it – some news is never easy. Here are some hints on how to tell an employee their employment is no longer required.

Hint 1: Don’t remove the emotion from the conversation.
When there is a dismissal or restructure there will be emotion and you need to be ready to deal with it. It is important to recognise that people deal with situations differently – there could be tears and sadness and that is okay, but you need to tread carefully. It is important to respond with empathy not sympathy. For example, ‘it looks like you are really upset’ is better than ‘I’m sorry this is happening to you’.

Hint 2: Keep the tone and volume of your voice underneath the other person.
People can react angrily and raise their voices – don’t be tempted to raise your voice and yell back. People do not shout for very long – if you keep calm, they will often feel uncomfortable and settle down, therefore you have diffused a difficult situation by remaining calm.

Hint 3: Use other mediums to break up eye contact.
In social situations continued eye contact is expected – it personalises the communication. However under these circumstances it can be dangerous. Diffuse the eye contact now and then by using visual medium such as notes. This will help make the communication less personal and allow you to talk about the circumstance or ‘it’ rather than ‘them’.

(Source: HCOnline, by Janie Smith, 24 July 2014)

Watch this space
In the next issue we will provide some tips on how to have that awkward ‘personality’ or ‘attitude’ conversation.

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