By | Ben Eubanks | Human Resources Professional, Speaker, and Blogger
There are only two professionals that workers and employers call upon when there are work-related problems. They either call a lawyer or an HR expert. Despite the fact that they both function in similar ways, as far as conflict prevention and resolution goes, they take very different approaches. If you ask each professional the same question, you’re bound to get two different answers to the same problem.
The Key Differences
This contrast is due to the fact that lawyers are trained to focus on the legal risk while human resource professionals assess problems through a more complete perspective, where several factors such as people issues and the impact on the workplace environment are taken into consideration. Lawyers tend to focus solely on the laws that apply to a given scenario, while HR professionals take into account the information collected from engagement surveys, complaints, exit interviews, retention rates, safety records, and other relevant data.
HR teams are privy to information that lawyers are not like a decline in productivity, internal strife, and even employee relationships. And while these factors may not necessarily cause legal concern, they can be indicators of imminent violations or worse, crimes.
The Holistic Approach
The key similarity between HR professionals and lawyers is that they are both professionals that are in the business of mitigating and avoiding risks. Each has a different perspective of the same problem, and each has access to knowledge and information that the other doesn’t. The best way to manage risk, whether it’s in the form of a disgruntled employee or a contract that seems fishy, is to have both professionals work together.
This means that this combined effort is able to detect both legal and non-legal risk, as well as take into consideration risk indicators that could help professionals determine when a certain behavior could lead to a legal problem.
While lawyers are adept and highly-trained at solving problems, they are even more effective at preventing problems. As such, it’s a good idea to consult with your company lawyer before taking any drastic measures such as terminating an employee or transferring an employee to a different shift.
Lawyers also work effectively with real estate agents, like the ones at jefftaborgroup.com, to effectively handle issues that plague growing or expanding companies such as commercial tenant representations, contracts, and everything in between.
As you might be thinking, the best approach is usually a holistic approach and one that involves two contrasting perspectives from two different fields of expertise. So, consult your company lawyer frequently, be upfront with what you plan to do and what result you want to achieve, and they can help come up with a creative solution that will also protect your company from legal repercussions while achieving your desired results. This is especially important when dealing with potential challenges within the company, problems that HR experts are best at handling.