Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why Employees Hate HR

Human resource department – commonly known as the HR in every organisation – is the vital link that connects the employees to the management, and is supposedly the most powerful and the authoritative department in an organisation. They represent the management to the employees and vice versa.

But the truth is that - “The employees hate it and the management considers it to be useless”. Considered closest to the top management and the gateway to all their communications and the front face in implementation of all their decisions, the HR faces the brunt of the hatred of the employees.

In recent times, when the credibility of the HR is under scrutiny and ways and means of finding the return on investment are being calculated, the HR has found itself to be at the receiving end of the employee’s hatred and the ever-growing anti HR feelings inside the organisation.

Why employees hate HR…
Now the main question that arises is – Why do the employees hate HR?
We hereby attempt to find answer to this intricate question, existing right from the time when the concept of HR came into existence in organisations. Employees hate HR because:

HR is the mouthpiece of all the organisational decisions, whether good or bad, fair or unfair.
HR is responsible for implementing and monitoring the corporate rules and align all functions according to the policies. Therefore, often portrays the image of the policemen to the employees.
The employees hate HR when they face the lack of responsiveness and Fail to get the solutions to their problems;
Fail to get assistance on time to their problems;
Don’t get a fair (less than expected) appraisal and on time
Fail to separate the HR functions from the strategical functions of the organisation
Fail to get timely information and communicate with the management or higher authorities because of the delay caused by the HR.

Sometimes the HR in the organisation starts considering itself superior and important than other employees, demand respect from other and even treating them badly or as inferior beings. According to various researches, this has emerged as the topmost reason for why the employees hate HR. as the horns on the hr employees heads get bigger and bigger everyday, the greater gets the disliking for them.
Many HR professionals in organisations are still following the same traditional and bureaucratic rituals in all its functions and approaches. And they fail to incorporate employee friendly outlook and practices.
Many a times, it has been noticed that apart from the hiring and the other minuscule HR functions like attendance, the HR often fails to provide career development opportunities, employee engagement and other strategic functions of the HR.
Most importantly, and last but not the least, when the organisation or the HR fails to fulfill the promises made by the HR to the employees.

The Truth:
“Everything that shines is not gold” or “Looks can be deceptive!” These phrases are best suited to the position of HR professionals in every organisation.

To explain it better with a situation: HR is responsible for the talent management and employee engagement in an organisation. Both of them are directly linked to the performance and compensation reviews, appraisals. Now, the employees get in touch only which with the respective HR people for any final notification of the decisions taken regarding the same. But the irony is that the appraisal decision has in fact been taken by the management and the other concerned officials like the project manager etc.

But as the decision is conveyed by the HR people, the first axe of hatred always falls on the HR, which in every case is the mouthpiece of the management. Now if the HR advocates the case for reviewing the appraisal of an employee with the management, all it gets is the bashing that they are on the employee’s side, and, have been hired by the organisation and not by the employees. They have no power to take decisions on their own. While balancing the interests of the employees and the organisation, they often become the whipping boy, who is always punished for the wrong doings of others.

The Fact:
The fact is that all the human resource professionals have to deal with humans, their emotions, different attitudes, different behaviours, different levels of understanding, different perceptions etc. And what the employees and the organisations forget is the fact that all human resource professionals are human themselves, having the entire gamut of all the above mentioned traits. And the HR professionals are basically striving had to keep both the employees and the organisation happy.

Converting Hate into Love
Turning the hatred of the employees in love or even the mutual and neutral feelings of understanding would require a great effort on the part of the HR to change the basic perception of employees which is commonly found to be against HR. None the less, the HR can take the following steps to ensure a healthy start:

The HR should emphasize on the communication. The communication should be clear, timely and proper i.e. explaining the rationale behind the decisions and the actions taken. Bridge the gap with the employees through communication.
Properly and fairly executing the HR processes like the appraisals and training and development etc.
Don’t be biased in its decisions. The HR should not be biased towards the management or personal bias towards some of the employees.
Focus on all the aspects and functions of HR equally.
The HR should not take the undue advantage of their position and authority.

HR is one of the most important pillars of an organisation. But it will not be able to survive for long without the support of the employees. The HR needs to create an identity of its own away from being on the organisation’s or the employee’s side. 


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