HRD Canada forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Notify me of new replies via email
HRM CA | 22 Jan 2015, 08:00 AM Agree 0
Delivering bad news is part and parcel of working in HR but when an employee gets aggressive, what can you do?
  • Sue | 22 Jan 2015, 01:43 PM Agree 0
    We all in our business have experienced this behaviour. For personal safety sake I also have a personal escape strategy. I know where the exits are, my cell is on speed dial and I let my colleauges know I am heading into a difficult situation. IF off site I make sure the managers responsible for the decision are in the room.

    My unionized environment preclude instant firing unless for extraordinary circumstances, which I have done too but not before supsensions while investigating the allegations.
  • John W. Rushton CHRL | 22 Jan 2015, 03:40 PM Agree 0
    Recently I met with an employee for an investigation meeting and I allowed a "friend" to accompany him to provide moral support. Half-way through the meeting the friend turned out to be his lawyer and she & employee went bananas.She is advocating for him.They became very loud and argumentative. I tried to clam them down, finally after 3 times asked them to leave, lawyer refused. I was with an operations manager. I had to demand both leave, but in order to be heard had to raise my voice. Finally got up and opened the door and both still refused to leave. Eventually they did but filed a complaint (ongoing) with my HR assoc (ONT) that I abused them and the ethics of my professional designation. Thankfully the Operations person was there to witness all of this. My lesson learned - walk out and if necessary call the police to get them off the premises
  • Joanne | 26 Jan 2015, 12:41 PM Agree 0
    John, sorry to hear you went through that but I never allow a "friend" when I am doing an investigation I learned the same lesson as you a decade ago.
  • KLee | 28 Jan 2015, 06:35 PM Agree 0
    Employee meetings to discuss performance or termination have no room for "friends" in the room. It has no baring on the "friend" and should be treated as a private and confidential conversation. The employee is no longer in school, needing mom or dad or their bestie to step in - they will be there to support them after the meeting.

    Generally, you will know which terminations have the potential to escalate versus those that will not. Regardless, I always ensure that there is a 2nd party, and that the meeting room be isolated enough to allow for privacy, but not far enough away, that escalated voices cannot be heard. I find keeping a calm, empathetic demeanor, mixed with finality keeps the conversation neutral. I also situate myself closest to the door. I have been in a situation, where an employee has escalated to the point where he could be a danger - knowing the volatility of the employee, I had security available outside the room, and once I stood up and opened the door, they stepped in. The employee very quickly de-escalated and left the premise quietly. You really never know, and it is best to always be prepared.
Post a reply