The world of work has changed drastically in the last few years and HR Caddy says that many employers are feeling anxious or unsure about how to broach tough topics with staff.

Whether that is performance issues created by new methods of working or a desire to get more staff to return to the workplace for more of the time.


In some cases, employers are doing their best to find a balance, but Sutton Coldfield based HR specialists HR Caddy says employers should be more upfront and create an open environment to discuss ideas and concerns.


Nicola Callaghan, Managing Director at the firm, said: “Anecdotally, some employers seem to have lost their confidence a bit when it comes to talking with employees about difficult issues.

“With vacancies at a high rate and a challenging recruitment market, some businesses are worried that employees will vote with their feet and resign if they are challenged about a particular issue.


“While it is important to listen and help employees where possible if an issue is having a direct impact on the commercial effectiveness of an organisation, then something needs to be done without breaking down the relationship between the employee and the employer.”


Nicola said the first step that businesses should take is to create an environment where open and honest conversations can be had, without a focus on criticism.


Employees need to be able to express themselves, but equally, employers must be able to respond without offending or upsetting an employee.


“It’s very easy to focus on the legal standing of employees and employers, where there are codified rules, but it is more challenging to look at the realities of challenging discussions around performance, pay or work expectations,” said Nicola.


“Employers need to feel empowered enough to guide employees and help them. However, if their guidance isn’t effective, they must still feel that they have the right policies and agreements in place to take action.”


Nicola said that if employers struggled to have challenging conversations with their employees about issues in the workplace that outsourcing their HR function could help separate themselves from the issue and provide an independent party to resolve the matter.


To find out more about how HR Caddy is assisting businesses across the Midlands with challenging discussions about the workplace, please call 0121 378 3998 or visit