Old Saybrook, CT (PRWEB) April 15, 2005
Telling a co-worker that he or she has offensive body odor is not a pleasant job for anyone Â but as the guardians of all things having to do with people, itÂs usually the human resource professional who gets stuck with this uncomfortable task.
HR.BLR.com (ÂState HR Answers and Tools OnlineÂ) asked human resource managers in an online poll: ÂHave you ever had to confront an employee about body odor?Â Of the 633 participants, 74 percent said yes; 26 percent said no. The poll was conducted March 24-31.
ÂWhen our subscribers pose HR policy questions to us, itÂs striking how often they ask for guidance on how to deal with this issue,Â said HR.BLR.com Managing Web Editor Kevin Flood. ÂThey need to address something thatÂs disrupting the workplace, but they also want to do it with a minimum of embarrassment Â to themselves, and to the employee.Â
While there is no ÂrulebookÂ for confronting an odorous employee, HR.BLR.com offers these tips to employers:
Â· You must talk to the employee Â not leave an anonymous note or a can of deodorant on his desk. Just hold the conversation privately, discreetly, and with as much sensitivity as possible.
Â· Realize that diet or a medical condition might be responsible for the problem. You might suggest, therefore, that the employee visit a doctor. You might also bring the company nurse into the conversation, if you have one.
Â· Stress that this isnÂt merely a personal matter Â itÂs a workplace disruption that must be dealt with.
Â· DonÂt be upset if the employee, out of embarrassment, seeks to end the conversation as soon as possible. Just schedule a follow-up meeting in a few days to make sure the problem is being resolved.
Ultimately, making one employee uncomfortable now will help to retain others. For more tips on retention, download Â99 Ways to Manage Employees,Â a free special report from Business and Legal Reports: http://www.blr.com/82008400/PRS10
Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for HR, compensation, safety, and environmental managers. For more information and a free catalog, call 800-727-5257 or visit http://www.BLR.com.
Contact: HR.BLR.com Managing Web Editor Kevin Flood
860 510-0100 x 2283