Most people know I set my HR clock by the full moon. Is it some mystery of the universe, or just by pure coincidence, that when the full moon rolls around, we seem to have a few tricky workplace problems to help our clients resolve? I’m not sure why they come to the fore at full moon time; they just do.

There are a number of things that can be the root cause of employment problems but, in my 18 years in HR, I’ve found some key themes. Here are my top five, in no particular order.

Wilful, calculated, deliberate actions by employees e.g. stealing. These can be totally unexpected, likely to take you completely by surprise, and possibly shake your confidence. These are difficult matters to deal with because they are unpredictable, but deal with them you must! This is when good processes help – first to have the checks and balances that will identify the problem in the first place, and second, to have good processes to follow in the disciplinary phase.

The warning signs showed in the recruitment phase, but you either wanted to give the candidate the benefit of the doubt or you didn’t dig deep enough. Learn from your mistake next time you are hiring.

The employer has failed to manage problems when they first occur. Employers often let certain behaviours slide hoping it’s a one-off. Trust me on this; don’t wait till the molehill is a mountain!

The employer hasn’t set the expectations. My advice – as an employer you need to set the expectations, hold your team accountable and you also need to role-model the expectations for your team.

There’s a personality clash between employees. This is a tough one but unfortunately it can be a reality. Let’s face it, at times we go to work and it feels like we’re acting more like a parent than an employer. It’s important that you address this early on and get support to help you navigate the problem.

If you find yourself in a pickle because of any of these full moon doozies, and you don’t know what to do, get professional advice. And, once you’ve resolved the problem, critically reflect and identify the things you need to change in your approach and processes to minimise it happening again.

The next full moon will swing around before we know it. Good luck and remember we are only a phone call away – 07 823 3250.