Managing high-risk HR

Managing high-risk HR

High-risk HR is not a phrase that any business owner wants to hear, especially when it is in relation to their own company. So how does a business reduce the chance of high-risk HR situations?

Your hard work has created a business that you can be proud of, and as the business has grown so has the number of employed colleagues you have interviewed, trained and are now helping you run it. A senior management team is a huge help, as this frees up time for you to focus on your strengths.

The thing is, there are areas that these managers need to be aware of, to ensure that your company doesn’t come under fire from employees in these high-risk situations. They need to be able to deal with people. Employees come from all backgrounds, and there is no handbook on how to deal with emotions and sensitivities, so your senior management team need to be able to manage people in sometimes difficult circumstances.

These situations can increase in severity quite quickly, and the relevant manager should be able to defuse them before it becomes high-risk.  This experience is gained over time and develops throughout the career of the manager, but it is always a prudent decision to ensure that they are developed in line with compliance, and any lack of people experience is covered by additional training. Prevention is much better than a cure, and it is much easier and cheaper to ensure full training beforehand than to deal with a high-risk issue afterwards.

The main areas that we would recommend ensuring all your managers receive some training are:


There are nine protected characteristics that must be adhered to by law; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation


Cases of workplace bullying must be taken seriously, documented and victims provided with the relevant support

Hiring and firing employees

Any employees who have their contract terminated must be dealt with within the legal parameters. Always ensure that these are being fulfilled. Job interviews also need to follow procedures that will not allow the company any detriment via behaviour or legality especially in relation to discrimination.

Mental Health

There has been a huge increase in cases of mental health, and the employer has a duty of care to support colleagues in this area. There are many ways to do this, and the colleague will increase in productivity if they feel the employer understands.

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Health & Safety

Although the overall health and safety of a business is held accountable to the business, managers must report any hazards they come across. The penalty can go as far as incarceration, so make sure they are fully drilled on all procedures

Poor performance management

If an employee is showing consistent poor performance, the manager must be trained in how to deal with the situation correctly, and follow the correct procedures to either increase the performance, or terminate the contract of the employee

There are potential legal pitfalls if any of your managers fall foul of these areas, and it is worth making sure that the business is covered for any potential problems. All of them carry claims which can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds. A payout of this size can be enough to cause severe detriment to a smaller or medium sized company if not cripple it completely.

At Centric HR we offer a wide range of support from:

  • Transactional operational support on the end of the telephone
  • On site coaching and support for line managers
  • Key courses in HR operational management
  • Leadership development and specific line manager courses
  • Tactical module HR packages that help you to embed best practice across all areas of HR

For more information on any high-risk HR situations, and how to protect your business, contact us here and we can help.

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Picture of Sandra Berns

Sandra Berns

Centric HR was founded by Sandra Berns, a confident and versatile Human Resources and Organisational Development Practitioner with 25 years demonstrable experience and a Fellow of the CIPD. Sandra has both Operational and Strategic HR expertise across Public and Private sectors and has assisted senior teams in meeting challenging workforce objectives in many corporate environments.