Johnny C Taylor Jr
Johnny C Taylor Jr. addresses your HR related questions as part of a series of USA Today. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world’s largest professional human resources association and author of Reassignment: A Leader’s Guide to Action in an Age of Turmoil.
The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor’s answers below have been modified for length and clarity.
I have a question? Do you have a HR or work related question that you want answered? Submit it here.
Question: I recently accepted what I expected to be a better job opportunity. After a week I decided to leave. I was uncomfortable with the work environment. Because I’ve only been there for a week, how can I address this on my resume or when my future employer asks? – Tina
Answer: Not everyone quickly realizes when a work environment is not right for them. I salute your awareness that this workplace is not a good fit and your willingness to act. Staying in a position that does not suit you harms yourself and your employer.
You do not need to include this position on your resume. Resumes are not meant to capture a person’s full work experience – otherwise they would be pages long. Instead, resumes capture key information in a concise package. Your resume should focus on relevant work experience, skills, and achievements to highlight why you are a good fit for a particular position.
When evaluating the content of your resume, try to see it from the hiring manager’s perspective. What does each item say about you? How does each aspect relate to the prospect? Each experience should build your value in their eyes and spark their interest.
A couple of important reminders. Just because you don’t have to include this on your resume, you have to disclose it on your job application. Many people mistakenly believe that they should not include jobs in an application that are not included on their resume. And if the interviewer asks you about the last job, be honest and professional. Share what you learned from the experience and how it could benefit a potential employer. You may have realized how important workplace culture is to you because of the experience. It can lead to a discussion about how well you fit in with their culture.
While this short period may be new to you, seasoned hiring managers and HR professionals will likely have encountered similar situations before – you weren’t the first and you won’t be the last. Make it clear that you are looking for your next job to be mutually beneficial. Focus on how to translate your skill set into any new role and you will have a better chance of advancing your career.
Halloween at work:How do I deal with dress etiquette at work? Ask HR
work habits:How do I deal with an employee who is constantly late or absent? Ask HR
He supervised nine employees in a commercial photography studio. We dropped the ball on a client project a couple of months ago. While I would like to learn from her and move forward, two of my workers are determined to blame each other for the accident. The quarrels between them create tension at work. Normally, both are a good factor, but they don’t seem to get over the accident. How do I deal with the situation? – Willandoo
Fighting coworkers can undermine workplace culture and business performance. As a People Manager, you are responsible for empowering workers and promoting the interest of your business. Be willing to listen with empathy to understand both sides and openly share your point of view as a people manager. Additionally, I recommend that you seek help from HR practitioners, as they are specifically trained to help manage employee conflicts.
Schedule separate meetings with each employee to better assess the situation and identify the source of the disagreement. Your employees should be more open about their issues in a one-on-one environment. They should be fully aware of the toxic impact of their conflict on the wider business environment. In this case, the consequences seem more harmful than the original incident. So, make it clear that more distractions and disruptions in the workplace are unacceptable.
After individual meetings, arrange a joint meeting to address outstanding issues. Set the tone by expressing your willingness to move forward from the incident. Set clear boundaries for the conversation and their future behavior. Share your expectations with everyone to take lessons from the accident and apply them.
Encourage them to find ways to address their differences without disturbing the workplace and other workers. Their anger may stem from their motivation to do their job well. This desire may be their common ground and provide an opportunity for resolution.
Ideally, they will be able to resolve the conflict or come to a mutual understanding. However, if hostility persists, review your company’s policies and consult with more human resources. Your company policy may address behavior in the workplace and outline steps for corrective action ranging from warnings to termination.
Hopefully they can iron out their differences and focus on doing a great job. Sharing perspectives and real listening can help everyone involved make better choices and avoid the need for termination. Ultimately, the goal is to build and maintain a positive and productive workplace.