The article did get me to thinking about secrets and how in HR we seem to always have a few that we are either asked to keep by others, or just the ones we share in this great fraternity of HR. Here are some of the HR secrets that I thought of:
Who in the organization is on the way out. (Sometimes many people know of individuals who are on the way out, but usually HR has a good pulse on everyone).
Who in the organization is probably on the way up, and not because they deserve it. (Every leader has an attraction to an employee or two, for a number of reasons, and those folks usually find their way into roles that they don’t deserve.)
How much money you’ll get on your next raise. (Oh, yes we do know. But keep working hard anyway; we don’t want it to seem like it’s predetermined.)
The information behind why certain departments tend to get more (resources, staff, etc.) than others – but we can’t you – it would cause organizational chaos! (I hate to tell you this, but it usually has nothing to do with department performance and everything to do with your departmental leader – or should I say, lack thereof.)
What you’re going to get for your annual bonus – usually 6 to 12 months before you get it. (hey, this stuff has to be budgeted)
What changes will happen to your benefits – again – usually 4-8 months before it hits you.
Who in your company is most likely to go postal on you. (But we can’t tell you for HIPAA reasons – sorry – but if you sit next to Ted you might want to invest in a bulletproof vest.)
Secrets, yes; specifics, no
I’m sure there are a number of others, but many aren’t unique to just HR.
I was thinking of putting down: We cook the books on our metrics, but guess what? So does every other department! Let’s face it, in a political corporate structure that relies on metrics to obtain budgeted resources, the numbers aren’t always going to be clean!
I like HR because we tend to have “big” secrets and are called upon to keep those secrets. It’s probably the biggest failure I see with new HR pros – they tend to try and create organizational friendships by sharing “the secrets,” and it always ends up blowing up on them.