Disclaimer: I am not speaking in behalf or against my company/ HR Dept. I am not an HR practitioner as well. Below is a satirical, no frills personal view on HR people and employees having conflicts with each other.
I recently attended a talk organized by PMAP (Philippine Management Association of the Philippines) and the lone query, by an HR practitioner at that, was; "Our employees regard us as enemies...what should we do to change that?".
I looked around and saw a combination of troubled faces and evil smirks (no need for me to specify who's donning these facial expressions). Deep inside, I don't know if I will laugh at her question or pity her for having to ask that. If I'm the owner of a company and my HR person asked this, I would fire her on the spot.
It was a good thing the host of the event gave a very good response. It was a long one but focused on the answer that change should come from within. Employees should regard HR as a shoulder to cry on, a light among a dark and almost endless tunnel, and other responses with something of that effect. It gained a huge round of applause and support.
I again looked around and saw a combination of sincere, guilty and "to hell with that" faces. Oh man...this is one interesting topic to discuss.
This prompted me to share my thoughts about this topic. Why is HR usually regarded as the enemy? To better answer this, below are the reasons why I see HR being regarded as such and that of a friend as well...
Reason 1: You never get the response/ action you want to hear/ see
- If you have a problem against your colleague, boss or even the company, did your HR rep ever told you that yes you're correct? If you say yes, don't ever consult with them again.
Reason 2: They never provided you the right person for the job
- Despite not being an HR practitioner, I had my share of hiring/ finding employees and it is hard work...but this is not what I'm paid to do.
- Your requirements are tall, fair complexion, sexy, with modeling experience, has analytical skills better than you or a manager...at a minimum wage...go figure!
Reason 3: You can't trust them
- This is actually an after effect of reason no. 1. After a heart to heart talk, how come it feels that instead of feeling good, you end up having more questions.
- Did you saying your boss, colleague, etc is an a** done you more harm than good?
- Did you sharing all your feelings made you more susceptible/ easy to manipulate?
Reason 4: Poker face
- A follow-up to reason 3. Is that eye contact a sign of sympathy or manipulation?
Reason 5: They don't give you all the details
- Them trying to control the information they relay to you is understandable. Saying they know management has this planned out for you but can't say it because it is classified!? People like this should be in the military instead!
Reason 6: What in the world do they do?
- If you're just in your desk doing your own thing without a care in the world, I don't blame you. But do yourself a favor, learn more cause they do more than just hire and brainwash people.
Reason 7: You make the money...they spend it
- This is just nitpicking...concentrate on your marketing efforts instead.
Reason 8: No one's perfect
- There really are Evil HR people...but there are in other departments as well (this might even be you)! But as my saying goes, people like this are what completes a society. Can you imagine working in an environment where everyone are goody goody two shoes!?
Reason 1: They really are a shoulder you can cry on
- If you've made a lot of enemies within your office, they're always there to listen to you...even if they don't want to.
Reason 2: They will try to make you feel good
- Even if you don't get the response you want/ need, at least they won't say no you're the a**. You will probably hear that you are a hard working individual and an ass-et to the company so work harder and everything will turn out ok.
- And after a month you go through this again...and again...and again...and just like that, you're discussing this issue with another HR person...of a different company!
Reason 3: Exceptions
- Some are evil...but some you can really consider as friends...outside of work that is.
So, a 73:27 ratio leaning to HR being more of the enemy...
My Response to the Question
For the disgruntled employee who thinks the company/ world is against him/ her...YES.
For the employee who works hard and and is reaping all the benefits...WHO CARES.
Should there be a general consensus that your HR Dept. is the enemy...then it probably is the case. Stop promoting yourself as a friend of the employee because you are not. You are paid to make sure that employees work their a** off for the good of the company...then making it look like it's for their own good.
Now for the employee, as mentioned, it all boils down for the good of the company. The moment you think you are entitled to something, it will be the start of your downfall. There is always a reason why someone is better/ more favored than you...and it boils down to you finding means in overcoming that...not HR.