The HR Department Cannot Be the Only Defense.

I originally posted this in 2009 so the incident reference may be dated but the lesson is no less important. In fact in today’s employment law world it is even more important for superisors and managers to have some training… no make that a lot of training, in employment laws. So read this post which was originally posted as Is Lack of Training Going to Cost Your Company?
The Wall Street Journal Online today had a report on the Buffalo crash of the Colgan commuter plane that killed 50 people. The article, “Captain’s Training Faulted In Air Crash That Killed 50” , indicated the pilot had been poorly trained, had failed many tests, yet the company put him back in the air. A very costly mistake. You would not think that companies would do this, yet it probably happens more often than we think.
In fact most companies make this mistake. We put supervisors and managers in positions of responsibility often with little or no training. Few have training in employment law, or labor law, or safety law, or proper interviewing or how to conduct a legal termination. We let them rely on their HR “co-pilot” to keep them out of trouble. Well that is a big mistake. They need to have a much better understanding of their duties and responsibilities in case HR is not around. Sometimes HR cannot correct a mistake that could have been prevented.
So train your supervisor and managers. Although the mistakes they make may not cost lifes they will cost money and time and possibly livelihoods. Ongoing training will often prevent a “crash and burn” incident.
BTW, the co-pilot in this deadly crash was sick and should not have been at work. Another reason to enforce rules about staying home when you cannot perform, e.g., when you have the flu.

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