<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do We Avoid the Appearance of Nepotism?
September 23, 2001
Q Dear Workforce: Our company has several employees who are relatives of the plant manager. Howcan we help the plant manager avoid the appearance of giving these employeespreferential treatment, as well as ensure those same employees don't step overthe line in their expectations of their boss/relative? -- Sticky situation, HR coordinator, manufacturing, Arlington, Minnesota. A Dear Sticky Situation: Be sure your guidelines are firm and clear, so there is no confusion aboutexpectations. Confirm with the plant manager that you understand this situation can presentdifficulties for him from time to time. Keep the awareness level high so theplant manager is more sensitive to it. Offer to be a sounding board anytime it is necessary to second-guessdecisions or actions. Sometimes appearances can cause problems, so watch forthose exposures. The plant manager may want to let it be known that dealings with relativesare to be discussed only with HR, to be sure to avoid problems. When people knowthat management is sensitive to the issue, vulnerabilities will be minimized. SOURCE: Roger Herman, The HermanGroup, author of "Lean andMeaningful," senior fellow, The Workforce StabilityInstitute, Greensboro,N.C., May 7, 2001 LEARN MORE: Read a Workforce Expert Q&A that contains advice on draftingan effective nepotism policy. The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.