I have worked in HR for many years and come across so many different attitudes towards the department from both employees and manager. There are some common themes that seem to flow through the industry and most of them are myths rather than reality or fact. So, I thought I would debunk a few for you and hopefully you will see your HR department in a new light.
#1 – HR is always trying to catch you doing something wrong so they can tell management
Not so much – yes, they generally know the company polices (mainly because they wrote them) but they are not spies – actually it’s the manager’s job to enforce company policies.
#2 – HR people are all about paperwork
Now it may be true that there is a lot of administration in HR especially at the lower levels, HR managers mostly hate paperwork (I know I do). I would much rather be designing a new training initiative than filing your tax forms. Most of the paperwork in HR is unavoidable due to legal requirements to keep records etc – don’t shoot the messenger.
#3 – HR is just there to make your job harder – as a manager
Yes, there are rules and processes to follow but HR doesn’t make the rules. Mostly they act as risk managers for you in your people decisions, making sure that your choices are supported by evidence and are defendable.
#4 – HR is responsible for making work fun
NO. We are not – you have to make your own enjoyment – sure, we often get tasked with organising the Christmas party or staff BBQ but that’s actually not in the job description – and you can’t make people have fun…
#5 – HR people love listening to your problems
Most don’t. Of course we are human, we have compassion and empathy for you and your situation but we’re not a counselling service. We can’t fix your marriage, your drinking problem or your depression. You need to speak to a friend or seek professional help.
#6 – HR is a waste of time and resources
There are still a few managers out there that think like this and HR does not always help itself as a profession by insisting that we want to be included at the boardroom table. However, HR is more than processes and procedures, it’s about helping managers and organisations reduce risks, increase performance and grow profits through their people.
Hopefully this has been helpful, if you want to discuss any aspect of HR, please contact Tarryn on 027 530 1255 - we're happy to help you.
Tarryn has worked in HR for over 14 years and loves to solve problems. She is a self professed employment relations junkie! She lives in Auckland with her dedicated husband, tireless toddler and three special needs cats.