“Time” for decisions…

This was a new job, a promotion for Sam, title: Human Resources (HR) Supervisor, his first management position. The company paid to move his family, a full relocation package. His new work location — a fully integrated manufacturing business that occupied a full city block. The facility was all brick, 60 years old, four stories high, with a courtyard in the center large enough for tractor trailers to enter, unload, and make a full turn to exit. It is a cool business. 900 employees. The business had additional facilities, two plants, offshore, in Puerto Rico.

Sam is on the job 6 days and finds out his boss is leaving for two weeks for a beach vacation with his family.

The second day his boss is gone the Operations Manager (OM) (responsible for manufacturing and warehousing) steps into the doorway of Sam’s office, leans against the door frame, and announces that his warehouse supervisor was arrested the previous evening for soliciting on a downtown street corner, dressed in drag.

There is usually a healthy competition, sometimes stressful, relationship between Operations and HR as the two need to strike an understanding and balance of what operating decisions are good for employees and the business, honoring policy, company values, and the need to run an efficient, productive, profitable, concern.

The OM, still in the door frame, is smiling like a Cheshire Cat, anticipating that the greenhorn HR guy will have no idea what to do with this. And, even better, the HR guy’s boss is gone. After a brief discussion the HR guy comes up with, “furlough him with pay until the authorities make a decision”. If the authorities charge him and he’s found guilty, we release him. Stop back at the end of the week and we’ll look at where we are. Boom! Disappointed that the new guy didn’t bumble the issue, the OM returns to his work.

Epilogue: Ten days later the authorities drop the charges against the Warehouse Supervisor. The the HR guy recommends the OM reinstate the Warehouse Supervisor, he does so. The Warehouse Supervisor was also warned that as a manager he can be the face of the company and he’d be released if further questionable behavior occurs.

There is usually a little time to make a decision.

***** S&E ****

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