If the whole department is considered the latest Avengers movie: Endgame, HR department would be Thanos.
HR is often seen as a ‘spooky’ department where people often go there just to be punished and even fired. HR is also typically filled with a bunch of bureaucratic paper-pushers who follow rules and are generally no fun to be around.
According to Liz Ryan, employees hate HR. They don’t want to be around with the HR department. HR department is the one who knows everything about the people in the office. They know all the secrets, from employee’s salary to employees who will be terminated – and yet, they give very limited information to employees. The only thing they care about is to make employer brand great and keeps employer away from the court.
In other words, employees’ belief regarding HR’s bad reputation is most likely because individuals only focus on the negative experience or chaotic program when dealing with HR. In fact, the HR department in any organisation has to handle a bunch of different things, such as onboarding, hiring, policymaking, cultural programs, and offboarding. Yet, many employees who have never seen what it really looks like in HR department often see the dark side from outside.
For example, when terminating employees, HR would be the one who issues the letter. When employee harassment happens in a company, HR would be the one who is responsible to help employees. When employee performance is failed, HR would be the one to blame due to its inability to maintain good work culture.
Thankfully, corporations today focus on improving working culture, retaining employees, and making sure everything that has to do with employment is smooth and easy, allowing employees to perform better, resulting in the changing of HR function. Although HR still has to deal with legal issues, misconduct, and things of uneasy workplace nature, corporate changes allow HR to be more effective poeple organiser, talent optimizers, and change maker.
Likewise, here are tips to make employees change their view of HR completely.
Technology has allowed individuals to be more analytical and automation-centric which makes it hard for people to connect emotionally. In doing HR tasks, technology has helped more than enough to ease HR jobs from payroll to employee engagement, however, it also creates a gap of emotional connection between employees and the HR function itself.
That being said, back to the past, human resources should put “human nature” back to business in order to connect with individuals emotionally. When emotional connection is built, there will be no room for misunderstanding between employees and HR department.
This might sound contradict with the first point, nevertheless, important administrative tasks such as payroll, onboarding, or employee management which are under HR department’s responsibility are hard to conduct without automation. Therefore, albeit human connection should not be left behind, leveraging technology to streamline administrative tasks and empower HR to work with a strategic capacity should be your utmost priority. By doing so, you can make room for innovation, for learning from leaders and employees, and for leveraging unique perspective to bring groups in a corporation together.
Recognising employees is not only a manager’s job but also an HR department’s too. Recognition is seen to be a vital trick to make employees belonged and valued. It is also one of the ways to open up transparent communication in order to build trust. Besides, HR practitioners should emphasise to employees that they are not only firing and disciplining. Hence, don’t let disciplines and corrections are the only things employees hear from you. As best as possible, recognise employees’ success and follow up with employees on a regular basis. Say “good job or well done” or giving thank you note can mean a world to your people.