New Bosses Should Avoid Foot-in-Mouth Disease
It’s 2013, and although mankind has managed to find a way to put a robotic rover on Mars and map the human genome, there still is no cure for the dreaded management affliction known as “foot-in-mouth disease” that too many new bosses seem to fall victim to each year. We coined this term a year ago. It’s a condition where eager new managers say or do things in an effort to get to know or connect with their teams, and then inadvertently cross the lines of privacy, discrimination, harassment or some combination of the three. Regardless of your good intentions, saying or doing the wrong thing can set your company up for some expensive and damaging litigation.
HR Daily Advisor posted a great article about the types of human resources blunders that are most often made in attempts by management newbies to be a good boss. Unfortunately in this day and age, even with the best of intentions, saying or doing the wrong thing to an employee can leave your company vulnerable for legal headaches. Managers have to be cautious to avoid violating laws and regulations of all different stripes, including the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rules and Department of Labor (DOL) statutes.
So what’s a good company to do?
The HR Daily Advisor article summed it up nicely in their advice:
Training, Training, Training.
But before that, the first thing to say to new supervisors and managers is, “until you have been trained, don’t do anything related to HR without checking with me.”
Remember, new bosses are just that: new. They’re still learning, and you need to help them recognize when they should check with you before they speak to employees about certain subjects or do certain HR-related tasks, such as disciplining, hiring, promoting, conducting formal reviews or firing. If you don’t, you run the risk of paying for it later…big time.
Looking for great training programs for your new managers, experienced managers or other talent?
We have fantastic resources and tools to offer, including training programs, assessments and employee surveys. Our HR DirectLink services can also help you manage your company’s many other HR needs. Contact us to discuss ways we can help inspire your teams toward increased motivation today!