Anyone who has worked in a corporate or office setting has likely heard something along these lines at one point or another. So, why does there seem to be such an overwhelmingly negative perception of HR and everything it does?
Since HR is often so involved in disciplinary actions and terminations, there is a common misconception that HR departments exist solely to enforce rules and ruin employees’ fun. I recently read an article that described HR as “management’s pawn”, which stated that HR professionals are loyal to two people and two people only – the CEO and themselves. In actuality, HR professionals aren’t the enemy, we’re the bridge between business managers/leaders and their employees.
So, I have sat myself down today to help debunk three of the most common myths about HR:
- “HR people are strangers. Can you ever “really” know a HR person?”
HR professionals have dedicated their careers to people. We are advocates for the employee, management and the company. Men and women in the HR department are people and employees just like everyone else. It would be peculiar if the part of the organisation that is dedicated to helping you, didn’t want to get to know you. If there truly is a divide between HR and everyone else, perhaps the distance isn’t created by HR. Food for thought…
- “HR is the henchman for senior managers”
Time and time again, I hear horror stories from my friends and family about the “crazy HR department” who creeps through the darkness, only appearing randomly and unexpectedly for disciplinary procedures and terminations. An article in the HR examiner says that HR is “charged with risk mitigation in the areas of legal compliance and employment law, HR’s role includes things that seem pretty intrusive.” There is a large fallacy that HR focuses solely on employees for negative situations. The reality is, the focus is on ensuring companywide compliance and high performance. This overarching goal of this is to mitigate risk for both the business and the employees.
- “HR does engagement surveys, then disappears into their office for the rest of year.”
wattsnext is an advocate for annual pulse check and engagement surveys. These surveys provide us with the information that allows us to understand what is working well within a business and what requires improvement. Where areas for required improvement are identified, careful consideration is taken to ensure the most appropriate course of action. While HR might not be the ones presenting the improvements and changes to you themselves, there is a lot of background work going on!
At wattsnext I am surrounded by amazing, friendly, caring people who do everything they can to support and assist their clients, and guess what? They all work in HR!