Understanding Why A Good Thing Changes 

With over 25 years working in Human Resources across a range of industries and companies there’s not much I haven’t seen when it comes to how people behave in the workplace.

From staff repeatedly calling in sick, (but where the pictures on Facebook telling a different story), to sleeping on the job or to even stealing toilet paper – I kid you not!  I’ve encountered  falsifying company documents, fighting and turning up to work under the influence. The list goes on.  While it can certainly make for some good work stories at the end of the week, it’s not the behaviour that team members, managers, business owners, and customers want to see or experience.

I had a client recently, who hired a permanent employee to carry out maintenance checks on his clients’ properties.  Everything went well for a year until one of the clients phoned the boss to ask if he knew that “Joe” was offering to do work on the side for cash behind his back?  My client was frustrated, actually he was devastated.

He asked me to speak with Joe, and I found out that he hadn’t got the pay rise he was promised six months back and that he felt his boss never took the time to get to know him or even check in to see how he was doing.  A good reminder that there are always two sides to a story.

Being in trades is a tough industry – it’s competitive; it’s huge hours; it can feel lonely; and there’s little support. That is where Tradie HR can help with getting the HR essentials in place so that workers feel supported and owners can sleep easy at night knowing they have the right systems and processes in place to deal with the demands of their people and their industry.

Getting the foundations right

So what are these HR essentials?  They are:

Employment agreements

Ensuring you have contracts that are relevant and legally comply for your employees and for your contractors/sub-contractors.  These agreements should be clearly written in plain English, with the relevant clauses included to protect both parties.

Job Descriptions

There should also be a schedule of duties attached (for contractors) or a job description (for employees) so that people know what to do.

Set clear goals for every worker on your team, whether they be a permanent employee or contractor.  You would be surprised how many people tell me they have no job description, or anything recorded of what is expected of them.  I have seen many disputes where people claim they didn’t know what they were being measured on and managers and owners frustrated that they had to go back to step 1.

Employment & Health & Safety Policies

Policies are necessary to ensure your employees have clear expectations, are treated fairly and that everyone in your business shares a clear understanding of what is and what is not acceptable workplace behaviour.  Every business (no matter what size) should have well-documented and thorough workplace policies to cover anything from performance and conduct in the workplace through to health and safety management plans

Helping Solve Your Problems

We understand that it can sometimes be difficult in knowing how to address staff issues for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing and ending up in the employment court or having your top talent leave the business.  Recently we have helped managers and business owners in:

  • dealing with poor performance of a foreman
  • addressing abseentism from a good employee that had got completely out of hand
  • bullying by a team leader and also bullying to a manager from a direct report
  • failure to repeatedly follow reasonable instructions
  • inappropriate behaviour of an employee at a work function and careless use of a company vehicle

Tradie HR director Leigh Olsen has more than 25 years’ experience in Human Resources across a range of industries and companies. Tradie HR provides Human Resource support tailored to Kiwi Trades businesses of all shapes & sizes. Find out more at: www.tradiehr.co.nz


Builtin customers get a free review of your current employment contact or contractors/subcontractors agreements.