“Whose side is HR on?”
The majority of responses, many from people who refused to be identified, were that HR frequently sides with employers and not employees.
This feeling is understandable; Human Resources are a function of the company—the people who are in charge. They do not have a responsibility to confidentiality, and they frequently hear things outside of their normal sphere of influence—often things like “the boss is a jerk.”
These common complaints are not legitimate HR concerns—such as workplace conduct and sexual harassment.
Although the CareerBliss article has a tongue planted firmly in-cheek, there are some valuable takeaways for both employees and HR personnel:
- Often, employees believe the function of HR is to provide a sympathetic ear for every workplace complaint, no matter how minor. The purpose of human resources departments must be made clear to all stakeholders, and not as a “catch-all.”
- HR is clearly a part of the company, and they are beholden to the good of the company. Any resolution will favor the overall good of the business, and not necessarily the individual employee.
Yes, there are some very legitimate functions of HR—especially recruitment and resolution of legal liability issues, to name just a few. However, making the purpose of HR clear and who they serve will keep the workplace professional, and save a lot of hurt feelings.