Held hostage by employee

Are you being held hostage by your employees?

September 28, 2018 | By Charlene Woodbine, Vitil

Small Perth businesses often have a lean staffing model which usually means that certain employees carry specific responsibilities. It is common for employers to rely heavily on specific employees for specific tasks like bookkeeping, payroll, administration and data information. All these roles carry significant responsibilities, so it is important to manage these areas well.

If you have an employee who has made unreasonable demands for:

  • greater salary
  • other entitlements
  • promotions
  • unreasonable leave requests

and you feel that you have no option but to agree to these requests (because of the responsibilities they have), the chances are you are being held hostage by the employee.

It's time to take some steps to address this issue. Some suggestions include:

  • During recruitment, ensure that you get a good perspective on an employee's capacity and ability to work as part of the team, which includes information sharing. If a prospective employee is reluctant to share knowledge, this may indicate a propensity to hoard information. something to be mindful of!
  • Invest time in creating a workplace culture that does not provide reward to employees who hoard information. Removing rewards in this area should reduce the need for employees to engage in underhanded activities.
  • Ensure that you clearly process map functional responsibilities within your business. For each area, it is always best practice to have a primary responsible person and a secondary contact as a backup. This ensures that you are not always relying on one person for key areas within your business.
  • Importantly, be very mindful of any subscriptions and passwords your employees may have. Ensure that you, as the business owner, know these passwords and have ultimate authority to override anything done electronically.
  • Although you may place great reliance on your employees, ensure that you are across what they are doing. We would recommend weekly meetings with your employee to determine work that has been completed and what is left to be done.
  • Act promptly if you have concerns that an employee is hoarding information in the workplace. Addressing this issue early can save you time and money down the track.
  • Create policies and procedures for 'high risk' roles in the business so that you and the back up know how to do the work and have a step by step guide.

If you're a Perth business requiring Human Resource assistance managing a situation like the one described above, please contact one of our experienced Human Resource Advisors who will be able to help you navigate these issues.

Vitil Outsourced HR Consultants

Vitil Outsourced Human Resource Consultants is a boutique HR consulting firm based across Perth, which offers flexible, reliable and affordable outsourced human resource support and recruitment services, where your team is the key focus. By outsourcing HR to an expert in Human Resource Services, our experienced professionals can objectively assess your environment, your human capital needs, and ensure we provide advice and support to further develop your team and your businesses performance.

Contact us to discuss tailoring HR solutions to your business needs.

Back to news headlines