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Paul Helsby HR
HR Consultant @ PR-HR Solutions Ltd. Writing to share experiences — good and bad — gained from 25+ years in HR


Throughout history, people have believed in various conspiracy theories, such as the alleged ‘alien’ being kept secretly in Roswell, USA, or those who don’t think Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon.

Similarly, there is rarely a period of parliamentary time where some scandal or sleaze occurs, the identification of which may lead one side to argue how deplorable the behaviour was, whilst the other claims that the individual was ‘set up’.

The clarity of the evidence produced of the alleged inappropriate behaviour will determine whether the initial response is likely to be apology and contrition or denial and counter-attack.



How to identify a bully before anyone gets too hurt

Hiding? Or Watching?

The first post I wrote for this series was — ‘A Is For Attitude’ — which explained how making a conscious choice to have a positive attitude made you more likely to succeed and had other medical and psychological benefits.

This second post is not as positive.

I aim to share my experience from grievance investigations I have conducted during the last decade of the characteristics or profile of the ‘typical’ or ‘average’ bully.

[Now, I fully understand the problems with using averages, as they can be extremely misleading. If…


Lying is something that very few people are good at. And most are not. Even when someone gets away with lying, it is more a reflection of the person they are lying to, than their actual skill — if lying can ever be considered a skill — in convincing somebody that their misrepresentations, distortions or falsehoods had actually occurred.

Part of the reason for this is that we are hard-wired to believe people. It takes a lot of confidence to question the validity of what somebody is purporting to be factual. …


Employee Engagement

In an ideal world, most of us like to have enough time to both work hard AND play hard. As long as we have the opportunity to keep the time at work and at home — in balance — we can reach the level of self-fulfilment that we desire, whilst ticking off our emotional and psychological ‘needs’ along the way.


The dictionary definition of a grievance is:

a complaint or a strong feeling that you have been treated unfairly

Whereas ACAS, (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) define them as :

concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employers

So, as with a lot of things, there is a spectrum along which grievances sit, with concerns at one end, and a strong feeling that you have been treated unfairly at the other. But, that being said, we are likely to view similar situations differently.

I might consider that the fact that my request for flexible working was rejected…


Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Post pandemic planning

Running a business is difficult at the best of times, and these are certainly not that.

COVID-19 has had an impact on every aspect of every business. For many companies merely finding a way to survive until the following week (and then the week after that) has taken all of their time.

Some businesses will fail, especially those that were already struggling before the pandemic.

Companies will undoubtedly be in a better place than their less forward-thinking competitors if they can start to consider whether how they have operated in the past is the most efficient and effective way to…


Let me start this post with a joke.

A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a lamppost and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he has lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes, the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he mislaid them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk answers, “this is where the light is.”

Does this have any relevance in a business context?

In part, because…


Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Do you have a ‘special file’ that you keep locked in the bottom drawer of your desk? You know the one I mean. The one you don’t want anyone else to see! Or, more importantly, what lawyers might call ‘potential evidence’.

So, while we are on the subject of ‘evidence’, let’s discuss the information you or your organisation might hold about an employee.

This point is important because employees can ask to see all of this information that you hold. …


Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Some people like to talk about doing things. Others just do things. The difference between those two types of people may be nothing more than having the right’ attitude’. But what a powerful thing this can be.

To gain an incredible understanding of this point, I recommend that you read Debra Searle’s excellent book:

The Journey — How to achieve against the odds’.

Debra was not a rower, but her husband, Andrew, was. They decided it would be fun (I’m not honestly sure that is the word that I would have used) to take part in an event to row…


Just over four years ago, I was asked by a Company to investigate a large number of grievances, lodged by an employee against several senior managers within the Company, but predominantly against the individual’s boss.

As I started the investigation, I advised the individual that I had never been to, or worked for the Company before; didn’t know anybody who worked there; and, at that point, hadn’t met the Group Head of HR who had asked me (by telephone) to undertake the investigation. Consequently, I advised them that I believed that I was able to conduct an independent investigation.


Paul Helsby HR

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