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With workplace disciplinaries on the rise, HR frequently has to deal with angry employees who feel their trust has been breached. But Josh Sunsoa asks, does HR bring this situation on itself?
Have you ever witnessed perfectly normal staff suddenly become so enraged that they lose all sense of proportionality or judgment when it comes to the initial process of contract termination?
HR might well brush this experience off by considering it to be the natural reaction to someone about to lose their livelihood. But organisations help create the very conditions they end up fighting when a disciplinary turns into a termination. Through their own processes and systems, HR professionals are often responsible for creating the conditions that lead employees to react in such a way.
It was Dr Steve Peters, the psychiatrist behind the British cycling team’s extraordinary medal haul at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, who said that when people lose self-control, what really happens is that there is the emergence of someone’s "inner chimp".
For these people, Peters argues, the irrational side of their brain - the part controlling their survival - kicks in and completely overwhelms normal cogent processes. And this is exactly what happens when people are told they are about to lose their job. It is the inner chimp that rushes to the surface and creates ugly confrontation – but it is l
Josh Sunsoa is the founder of Sunsoa & Co, an HR consultancy providing professional advice on the management of business restructuring, executive terminations, TUPE transfers, workplace investigations and recruitment campaigns.