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The Human Side of Human Resource Management

Posted on Friday December 07, 2018 at 10:42AM

 By:  Ruthann Weeks, CIRS
Founder, Harmony Training & Development

3 minute read


While working in human service roles, I was privileged to assist people in crisis and work with them to devise plans to access programs and resources. The most rewarding part for me was to see their stress level drop as they gained hope and found light in their hardship.

Life is messy. Every one of us will face a circumstance or situation that is bigger than us at some point. That is bigger than the work we do or the various hats we wear: boss, employee, parent, son/daughter, friend. It will reduce us to our raw selves. It might be a divorce, a death, a job loss, a health or mental-health crisis, or it might be a toxic relationship. We all deserve grace and dignity in our mess and that means at work too.

Human Resource Management (HRM) is more than a profession, it is a holistic approach to the governance of human assets within an organization. The seven years I spent working in human services gave me valuable insight into complex issues that has been helpful in my career as a human resource professional. It led me to start Harmony Training & Development to help others better understand the issues people face in life that may not be related to the work they do but has a dramatic impact on the bottom line regardless.

When your workforce is experiencing the hardships of life, they are distracted, fatigued and less productive. Absenteeism may rise, as well as health costs related to increased use of employee benefit plans. Inter-company relations can suffer, as co-workers are picking up the slack for their less-productive colleagues, or they may be worried or concerned for their work friend and distracted themselves.

Supervisors and HRM professionals need to understand how to deal with sensitive situations their workers are experiencing, and employers have a legal responsibility to assure they do their best to create safe and healthy workplaces that include:

• Policies and procedures that address key issues like workplace bullying, sexual harassment, violence and domestic violence*

• Training of all staff on their rights and responsibilities related to Occupational Health and Safety legislation

• Training for managers and HRM how to handle complaints and investigations related to violence and harassment

• Assuring staff have full understanding of expected and prohibited workplace conduct with clearly communicated recourse for failure to comply or for making malicious, false accusations


Effective policies distributed successfully to trained employees in an organization with comprehensive, practiced and practical procedures, goes a long way to mitigating risk and proving the due diligence of an employer.

*Domestic violence is a multi-faceted subject that is prone to much misunderstanding and requires specific training to address effectively. They don’t teach about intimate partner violence or coercive control in business school. Make sure that your supervisors/HR department has the knowledge and skills to identify when an employee may be experiencing abuse at home, understands how talk to them with sensitivity and how the issue affects the workplace.

Progressive organizations build training and development into their budget to assure that their workforce is challenged, learning, growing and safe. Nothing grows in a stagnant pond, and that includes your bottom line.


Harmony Training & Development is a social enterprise offering workplace training, tailored to business and industry via presentation, lectures and/or interactive workshops.
Call 780-460-1019, or email info@harmonytraining.ca for your free consultation today!

Author: Harmony Training & Development

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