What’s the first question to ask in solving any employee problem a client has?

As a small business HR consultant, a big part of what you do is helping a client who comes to you with a problem. If they’re a new client it’s often a problem that has been festering over a long time, and has worsened due to inaction by the client. Frequently complicated and sometimes overwhelming, certainly for the business owner.

But once a client has explained to you what their problem is, what’s the first question you should take when coming up with a solution? You could explore the procedure (if any) they’ve used so far. You could ask about the employee’s history, for context. You could ask to see their contract for anything relevant.

All of those are useful things to do, definitely, and will help you develop a plan of action for the client. But there’s a more important question to ask before that. What outcome does the client want?

If you know the desired end result, you immediately have a focus. You can ask all the other questions to help you formulate a strategy, but any strategy for dealing with a problem needs to have a desired end goal in mind.

So before you start advising the client on letters to write, or meetings to have, find out very clearly what they hope to achieve. Then develop a strategy (or sometimes more than one option) for getting the client to that position and outline the steps needed.

Understanding the end goal shapes your advice to make it as effective as possible, and also reassures the client that you are understanding them and their needs really well.

If you’re interested in talking to us about becoming a partner with face2faceHR with bags of support, do get in touch.