Ash Mathew
Recruitments, Training`
Shuaibims
Hr Professional
Tajsateesh
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Abhi16march
Manager Hr
K.Ravi
Loading.......
Raghav
State Hr Manager
Adnanalam2
Hr Professional
Rohini
H R Manager

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Dear Seniors,

I would like to bring this case to all of you to kindly suggest me relevant solutions. I work as an HR Executive in an IT company with a strength of 55 people in india and around 45 people in US. I am the only HR person working in this company handling all the HR Functions. One day an employee requests me through an email that he wants to change his desk as the place where he is sitting currently causes a lot of disturbance to him and he cant concentrate because people have discusions near his desk.

I Checked up with my system admin guy if the desk can be allocated to him, but that desk was already allocated to a new joinee and the same status was being told to the current employee working in the organisation. Next day the employee calls me to the conference hall as he wanted to discuss about his desk allocation with me. when i went inside the conference hall the employee started misbehaving and started speaking to me on a loud pitch that "who is the system admin guy to tell me no" and "cant the new joinee sit somewhere else", his pitch was so loud that all the other employees were peeping as to wats going inside the conference room :( i told this employee to please behave and discuss the issue in a polite way, but he lost his temper and started shouting on me, telling me tht i am playing politics and not giving him that desk, he spoke to me in a very loud and rude manner while i told him 4 -5 times to lower down his voice.

At the end of the 10 minutes discussion told him that i'll try to help him out and do something about his desk. i felt hurt that an employee spoke to an HR like that and secondly misbehaved with me as a female employee. when i approached the company's director he took the matter lightly and told me that i should forget the incident and should tackle it lightly because i am an HR and i have to maintain the cool temperament and that the employees usually talk like this but I should not react.

I, at the end of the incident, am very hurt, and disappointed, and that my self respect has been challenged. I want to know from you all that what are the options available to me now that can be taken up. Do i have the right to issue him the warning letter ? or should i bury this topic as per my company's director and forget about it ? what kind of letter can be issued to him for this kind of behavior? i am worried because this can happen to any employee and if i dont take an action today this can happen to any other employee in the future. All your suggestions/comments are welcome ASAP.

Hi Priyanka,

We are sailing in same ship it seems! The same incidence happened with me some couple of days before. I handle HR, Admin and Finance dept in my org and my post is Manager HR and Admin. some days before one of employee called me for tax matter, there was tax deduction in her salary and she was frustrated due to heavy tax deductions as per the rules. and she took out all her frustration on me over intercom call. even i requested her 3 to 4 times to low your volume but she tooked this also in wrong manner and after that she dropped me a email keeping copy to her LM and director of the company. My director has not taken any action on her and said me to ignore the email saying you are HR you cant behave in wrong manner.

I was disheartened and was upset for more than 15 20 days but it was useless.. i suggest if your director has said you to ignore then dont do anythng against him or if you have any one else on top of you disuss this with him or her.

Wish you all the best

keep smiling

Preeti

Hey Preeti and Priyanka,

Include me in the list.

This happened many times with me where employees show their frustration.
They think that HR can be shouted at for everything. And they love telling others – “I went and shouted at the HR – she was scared…!”
Truth is they would have been tongue tied!

What I do nowadays is that I clearly tell them - "I am here to help you with the situation, please let me know how best I can help you. I understand you are frustrated with the situation but please calm down – take some time and then talk”

If they cross the level – I clearly say – “I am sorry, we are deviating from the purpose of this meeting – we are here to sort it out and see what the next action step should be and not let this feeling within you continue”

(I always make sure that there is drinking water in the room)

The most important thing at this point is we should not react back with a surprise or a helpless look – just look emotionless, and let the person know that you are “waiting” to hear the actual issue and not his/her frustration.

Take a paper and pen and jot down all points. I even note down what ever terms they use like – u hr ppl… this company…
This is because they will be aware of what ever words they use. They will calm down. (In that way even you calm down)

If on phone, I will never react and just say “I am sorry I am helpless, but this was something you should have planned. We still have time left and there is no harm in deciding what can be done next to avoid such situations. “
If they cross the level – pls tell them – meet me later today and we can see what best can be done.

Priyanka, if he gets back to you say that you have no control on the actions of the system guy and he is just doing what he is supposed to do. If he looking at someone to yell at, you are not the right person. If he can discuss without raising his voice, tell him you are open to talking. Else, he needs time to clear his anger and get back and talk when his head is cool. At these times - after saying twice or thrice if he still yells, just politely tell him u that u r walking out and can be called when he clears his anger - not through u tho!

Just be strict and I am sure this person will get back to say a sorry. Please tell (not ask) tell him – to keep his cool while talking and the next time he requires anything he needs to put it across with the right words and not Loud words. He is spoiling his own image and people may start thinking that he is a short tempered person and never approachable.

The senior management will not mind this at all - but that does not mean that we have to take everything! In this case, we should take control of the situation.

Good Luck! and forget abt this guy who wants a place changed. He is so kiddish to fite for all that....so u know wat level of person he is! jus a kid... and dont show ur frustration to him...


Hey usually men come with such silly issues :D :D

Take care!

Hey Preeti and Priyanka,

Include me in the list.

This happened many times with me where employees show their frustration.
They think that HR can be shouted at for everything. And they love telling others – “I went and shouted at the HR – she was scared…!”
Truth is they would have been tongue tied!

What I do nowadays is that I clearly tell them - "I am here to help you with the situation, please let me know how best I can help you. I understand you are frustrated with the situation but please calm down – take some time and then talk”

If they cross the level – I clearly say – “I am sorry, we are deviating from the purpose of this meeting – we are here to sort it out and see what the next action step should be and not let this feeling within you continue”

(I always make sure that there is drinking water in the room)

The most important thing at this point is we should not react back with a surprise or a helpless look – just look emotionless, and let the person know that you are “waiting” to hear the actual issue and not his/her frustration.

Take a paper and pen and jot down all points. I even note down what ever terms they use like – u hr ppl… this company…
This is because they will be aware of what ever words they use. They will calm down. (In that way even you calm down)

If on phone, I will never react and just say “I am sorry I am helpless, but this was something you should have planned. We still have time left and there is no harm in deciding what can be done next to avoid such situations. “
If they cross the level – pls tell them – meet me later today and we can see what best can be done.

Priyanka, if he gets back to you say that you have no control on the actions of the system guy and he is just doing what he is supposed to do. If he looking at someone to yell at, you are not the right person. If he can discuss without raising his voice, tell him you are open to talking. Else, he needs time to clear his anger and get back and talk when his head is cool. At these times - after saying twice or thrice if he still yells, just politely tell him u that u r walking out and can be called when he clears his anger - not through u tho!

Just be strict and I am sure this person will get back to say a sorry. Please tell (not ask) tell him – to keep his cool while talking and the next time he requires anything he needs to put it across with the right words and not Loud words. He is spoiling his own image and people may start thinking that he is a short tempered person and never approachable.


The senior management will not mind this at all - but that does not mean that we have to take everything! In this case, we should take control of the situation.

Good Luck! and forget abt this guy who wants a place changed. He is so kiddish to fite for all that....so u know wat level of person he is! jus a kid... and dont show ur frustration to him...


Hey usually men come with such silly issues :D :D

Take care!

Asha good reply.. But except for the last sentence u used on men is something I hope to be taken in lighter side!!!!
Very true Raghav - I only meant it on the lighter side. Women to women - will not be an employee issue, it will be a life long rivalry! Hey all out there just kidding!
Hello Priyanka & Preeti,
Ravi has hit it on the bull's eye. Try to get to the root cause of the behaviour.

Asha has a lot of exp in such things looks like it:D. But seriously, she has some good points which both of you should follow.

I wish to add the following to handle it in a different way.
1) First & foremost, remember that if you tell a guy [or girl] to calm down when he/she is shouting, THAT'S THE SUREST WAY to ensure an INCREASE IN THE VOLUME. Whether we like it or not, the usual human nature is such...we tend to do what's prohibited [just watch some kids to understand this better, or even adults w.r.t smoking, drinking, etc]. The better way to handle such a situation is to TAKE CONTROL of the situation from the other person. If you are asking him/her to slow-down, you are giving the control to him/her--notice the difference? Suggest tell him: I agree with you FULLY that this definitely needs to be resolved, but then let's sit without any disturbance later and sort it out....the idea is to BREAK THE MEETING AT THAT POINT OF TIME, when it's likely to go out of control. Got it? Don't say it....do something unobtrusively to break it. BUT ENSURE YOU CALL HIM LATER TO HAVE THE MEETING, when you think his temper is cooler.
2) Priyanka--I think you did a mistake to by shifting the responsibility onto the Sys admin guy--this was YOUR problem to resolve.
The problem the guy projected was..."currently causes a lot of disturbance to him and he cant concentrate because people have discusions near his desk." So what has the sys admin guy got to do with it-this was more of a PHYSICAL seating issue, not computer related one? First you should have checked it out if the given reason was INDEED CORRECT....AGREE OR NOT? Go to the seat of this guy and judge for yourself, and if he was really speaking the truth, then maybe you would have decided the older employee was more important than the trainee? Handling the assignment of the sys admin aspect is never a problem-you could have known it if you went into a slight more depth on how the sys admin guys assign the IDs, etc [it takes a few minutes].

Jotting down the points...including the language/words-like Asha suggested is always effective. Then read it out loud..including the language/words. As far as the guy is concerned, you are reading it loud to ensure YOU have clarity on what the problem is, & what needs to be done.....but the more subtle reason is for him to hear for himself the words he used. Then you don't have to ask for a sorry...it will come automatically & sincerely-if his was an unintentional behaviour or was due to some other pressure. It's always better to CREATE a situation where the person realises his/her mistake, rather than telling him/her--not that this is true all the times. In such extreme cases, you need to be blunt...but I don't think what both of you mentioned fall into that category. It was more of a HANDLING issue. And escalate things to the director level ONLY AS THE LAST RESORT....think both from the HEAD & the HEART before you decide you have exhausted all options.

Rgds,
TS

Nothing to worry on this, two three such incidences will enable you to gain required experience to deal such situation in future. All HR employees undergo such situations and learn by experience. There is no perfect solution when you are dealing with human beings. Better cheer and do an introspection how you could have avoided this in first place and what you will do if such cases are repeated in future. The answer lies with you.
Regards
Suresh

i am really laughing wen asha says men alwys come for such silly issue( Ithink tat man was frustrated by his wife :D :D)...
hey Priyanka and preeti ..calm down ..generally people dont like Hr person in their office.....so for a HR person they shuld be emotionless, a gud motivator,and a problem slover ..foget it and look for sme new issue :D ...........
asha & TS explained everything so we dont need to say anymore....

Hi,

Very valuable inputs from all ! I have been lucky,first no one ever shouted,and management has always protected my ego. There was one difficult employee. Difficult because he was normally known for his temper tantrums and our director was nice to inform me on the first day briefly about the odd one out types...

Having always a director's support is good, and letting people know that you are backed by management as good HR is even better ! So from the first day try to build up all such strategic alliances with key people in the organisation to have many benefits such as:

1 - People know you as a HR pro,to what extent you can handle a case with desired maturity

2 - If you are going to deal with a difficult character ,chances are sometimes you know even before the person comes to you what could be the issue for which the person is approaching you

3 - You can display your unbiased decisions and justify your actions,it is through employees only you can influence employees,and it is like you are responding to FAQs many times in a span of time

4 - If someone shouts too, other peer pressure will act on them to cool down and apologise

5 - And maintain a calm and poised stance when someone is highly emotional,give them time ,once they stop for a breathe,ask if they are cool now and you can have a meaningful discussion, someone always maintaining calm and composed looks and suddenly getting upset or angry is always given more importance than someone getting angry on a fly...so you too will have your turn to say it is easy getting upset,but at the end of the day we spend more number of hours in office than at home ,so better to maintain harmonious atmosphere in the workplace(too).:D

Thanks
Geeta:)


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