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Whether an employee is looking for support, needs an answer or must report a problem, the door to HR must be passed through. Although your business with this department may be straightforward, here are some truths about HR that it takes pains to keep under wraps:
- HR is watching
A background check is routine when a company is determining candidates they want to hire. Expect also that your workplace is checking into your activities, online and otherwise, after you are on the job. With easy access to social media activities, HR can monitor your private life easily so be aware that this is the case.
- HR professionals are rarely champions – except for the company
The personality of the typical HR employee does not seek risk for the company. Consequently, an employee who approaches this department for help that may injure or compromise the business is likely to be dissatisfied in the results of the encounter with HR.
- HR’s mask
Do not be surprised if it is difficult to gauge how things are going when you contact HR. Whether it is a minor issue or a major ‘whistle-blower’ inquiry, the face of an HR professional will seem relaxed and friendly. Training accounts for the demeanour so an employee is wise not to count on the pleasant feel of a discussion to result in the desired result.
- HR wants happy management
No matter how open and accepting HR seems to employees it is essential to understand their staff exists to further the purpose of the company’s management. Hoping they will assist a mere employee when the upper hierarchy pushes the other way is a fruitless wish.
- HR has favourites
If you have a hunch that some of the employees in the company get a better response from both management and HR you are not far from wrong. HR will support the employees who are favored by the company establishment, which can be useful for you if you find yourself in that category.
- HR mediates with the company’s interest in mind
While it is true that HR is the place to resolve workplace disputes, be sure to have the proof to back up any issues you bring to its attention. If you can show you are in the right with clear evidence, whether accuser or accused, things are more likely to go in your favour. Keep records and make sure not to ‘cry wolf’ with unsubstantiated claims.
- HR is not protected from downsizing
If budget cuts have hit the company hard know the HR department is not immune. As employees work through the issues relating to wage freezes or suspension of promotions there are likely fewer HR professionals to assist.
- HR does not have all the answers
Although the staff can appear powerful when you must answer to them HR is just one cog in the great machine that is the firm. Change or answers from other areas of the company are often just as hard for HR to obtain as it is for other departments or individuals. Automation, such as the CIPHR HR software application, can also add another layer between the department and the individual.
- HR can make you or break you
Cultivate a good working relationship with HR even if you have little need for its services day to day. Yearly performance reviews are conducted under its purview and promotions and wage increases are driven from within its calculations.
A solid grasp of what HR will do for employees and must do for the company is essential for the savvy wage earner to possess. Use this knowledge to benefit both your employer and yourself.
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