Good Morning!!! Welcome Back! We hope all is well at the forefront and your 2021 is getting better, even if it is only slightly! Baby steps you know what I mean? Today, I wanted to bring a cold, dismal truth to the forefront, one that not many talk about because it almost feels taboo and that is Why HR is Not Your Friend.
Many people think that Human Resources (HR) is the place to go when they are unhappy or dissatisfied with something at work. However, they are often disappointed as they expect a sympathetic reaction from HR every time and the reason behind it is straightforward: HR is not your friend. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to remember this when you are under pressure, having a personal crisis or in a difficult situation and hence reach out for help but it’s important to keep in mind that HR is not about right or decent, it’s about what’s best for the company. Read on to learn more.
HR Works for Your Company, Not You
The primary job of HR is to protect the company. Human resources are basically resource filtration systems in a business. They are paid to recruit, pay the salaries, get the forms filled, etc. That’s all the “help” they offer – giving employees what they deserve for their efforts, but often making them feel that they have done them a favor. Even Forbes reports that going to HR should be a last resort. This is because human resources are not on your side as they don’t work for you. They will only take your side if it’s in the interest of the company.
HR is Not Your Therapist
The good people in human resources are specifically trained to be great listeners for the purpose of evaluating issues that occur in the workplace and use that information to protect the company. HR is not your therapist. Any help you get from the human resources department is incidental because their primary job is to protect the company. Generally, your conversations with human resources, even if they are honest efforts to help, may result in getting you fired.
HR is Not Legally Obliged to Keep Things Confidential
You might be thinking, since the human resources department will listen to anything I have to say, why wouldn’t I share things with them? You really shouldn’t because they don’t have an obligation to keep things you tell them confidential from certain people. If you tell human resources that you think that your employer is cheap, your colleagues are incompetent, and your boss is unfair, HR will take note of that information, but it is likely that it will not change any of the things you don’t like. Instead, it will only reflect poorly on you in case any problem arises in the course of your employment. So, talk to a friend if you want someone to keep your secret because HR is certainly not that.
Don’t consider HR your enemy, but don’t look at HR as a friend either. Remember, these are people constrained by the work environment and culture as well. They are limited by the 9-5 belief system and the fact is they have to pay their bills as well. Just remember this.
When things get ugly at work, you must understand the role of human resources in dealing with the situation. Don’t assume that their job of ensuring employee satisfaction and happiness includes having your back in difficult situations at work. Instead, seek help from the outside regarding how to involve and engage HR effectively. You don’t want to make any communication mistakes that can unintentionally hurt your job and/or career. If necessary, employ outside council and agencies to best represent you. I’m not going to lie, after being in the workforce for over 15 years, there arent many organizations that would actually go out of their way for their employees unless 1) evidence is insurmountable or 2) they stand to greatly lose because of it.
Contrary to popular belief, even nonprofits which normally are made to help people make these very same mistakes. I’ve observed many shady things that would leave you angry and confused coming from these types of organizations. So, be cautious, have evidence, and if push comes to shove seek outside help. “Till next time!”-The Black Sheep