HR SOLUTIONS: ASK A SHRM HR KNOWLEDGE ADVISOR
CONCERNS ABOUT SELF;HARM
I am worried that an employee who made suicidal comments might hurt himself.
How should I approach him?
If it appears there is an immediate threat of self-harm, contact local emergency services. Otherwise,
o;er support and remind him that
others care. That can be a powerful
Discussing suicidal remarks or
an employee’s mental state can be
challenging. Find a private place to
talk about your concerns regarding
the worker’s statements or behaviors.
While unlikely, it is possible that
the person’s comments were casual
remarks made in poor taste. Ask for
clari;cation about what he meant
by his comments and what may be
causing him distress.
Resist the urge to force the person
to take time o; or to require ;t-
ness-for-duty certi;cation. Instead,
ask what you can do to help and o;er
suggestions regarding mental health
services. That said, do not attempt to
diagnose the person’s condition or solve
his personal issues. Listen and encour-
age the worker to seek help
through an employee
local hospitals or
crisis lines such
as the National
It’s possible the
individual has a
condition that is covered
under the Americans with
Disabilities Act, but don’t make that
assumption without seeking more
information from the employee or his
or her health care provider.
If you are concerned that an o;site
worker is in immediate danger, consider requesting a wellness check by
the individual’s emergency contact or
a local police department.
HR sta;ers, along with supervisors,
may be among the ;rst people to rec-
ognize that an employee is
suicidal, so it is critical
to note alarming
behaviors and to
employees to seek
signs may include
family or friends, or
rage. Prepare HR per-
sonnel and supervisors with
suicide prevention awareness training.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause
of death in the United States and
costs businesses $69 billion annually,
according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. But
it’s the incalculable human toll that
is most devastating. HR is uniquely
positioned to lessen that.
—Melissa White, SHRM-CP,
an HR Knowledge Advisor for SHRM
¬;For more HR Q&As, go to shrm.org/hrqa
EXIT charges people
to help them quit
Source: Japan Times.
DITCHING DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
In this increasingly tight labor market, 9 in 10 employers said
they would accept candidates without four-year degrees to fill
open positions. Alternative credentials they’d accept include:
Completion certificates 66%
Recognized industry certifications 66%
A MOOC*-based degree
(*massive open online course) 47%
Digital badges 27%
Source: Learning House and Future Workplace.