HR is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Employees see it as a place where peers go and never return while leaders see it as a checklist chasing, rule follower. There are several reasons why people hate HR. However, HR can be such a pivotal strategy for any business.
When employees and leaders overcome the stereotype of HR, they really can benefit from having a great HR team that they can rely on every day. HR can be fun and it should be! HR can drive the culture throughout an organization and should be supported by all business members instead of dreaded or feared. HR is important, here’s ten reasons that prove it.
Employees should rely on HR to provide information about benefits, create useful, necessary trainings and create a fun culture throughout the organization. HR has all the perks, discount, and, most of time, all of the information on fun new things for employees to get excited about. They are also there to help when an employee needs to take a leave, gets the wrong medical bill, is paid incorrectly or wants a promotion.
Also, employees should see HR as a sounding board when things aren’t going right. Whether it’s through a one-on-one conversation or an anonymous feedback method, employees should use HR as a neutral party in the workplace. HR should be pro-employee and pro-company (isn’t that one in the same?) by listening, sharing information and taking feedback into consideration.
HR is also a savior for leaders. When it’s time to complete reviews, have a difficult conversation with an employee or create formal documentation, HR should be the first contact because it provides an outsiders perspective to the daily challenges in a department. Also, if a team is struggling with morale or needs a new incentive program, the HR team can share best practices. Leaders should also use HR as a safe-place sounding board to vent frustrations.
I think the view of HR is getting better, but in order for it to change, HR teams need to take accountability for this as well. They need to be knowledgeable, follow-through on action items and work extremely hard for the organization. They need to own their department and prove that they provide value to the organization.
HR teams also need to take their jobs of protecting employees and leaders seriously and really focus on their neutral stance within an organization, which isn’t always easy. All decisions should be fair, consistent and based on a reliable, thorough a handbook. Since HR doesn’t typically generate revenue in the formal sense, it has to show how resourceful and beneficial its tools are on a daily basis.
I truly believe that employees need to be supported and protected, and that leadership needs the influence of a third party to effectively lead their teams and ensure compliance. HR has the power to support both leaders and employees in mutually beneficial means while ensuring a positive culture is spread throughout the organization. By encouraging leaders, employees and HR to take an active role in changing the culture, all sides will benefit.
Stop by and get to know your HR team members this week, they may be more resourceful than you think.