Human resources professionals don’t always get the credit they deserve. In fact, too often than not, they bear the brunt of an organization’s frustration. This is unfair to the department that tirelessly works for the benefit of every single employee in an organization. Here are some reasons why we love and appreciate HR:
They manage to walk the fine line between employer and employee
Most employees don’t realize that HR professionals actually play two roles in a company. First of all, human resources serves as a safe place where employees can raise issues or problems they are having at work. Experiencing conflict with a colleague? Talk to human resources. Are you uncomfortable with your supervisor’s management style? Bring it up with human resources. Is there inappropriate behavior being directed at you? Let human resources know.
But on the other hand, HR professionals are responsible for enforcing policies set in place by the company. They also have to take care to be impartial at all times, which often means that they can’t get too close to their coworkers, since personal relationships might color their judgment and hinder them from making objective decisions should the need arise. This distance can make it seem like HR is impersonal or unsympathetic, but employees must remember that they are constantly caught in a balancing act and are doing the best they can to stay fair.
They keep things confidential
Dealing with sensitive information comes with the territory of being in human resources. HR professionals know nearly everything about an employee, from something as basic as his salary, to disciplinary measures that may have been taken against him, but they manage to keep all of it private and treat that one person no differently than anyone else. In a corporate environment where gossip tends to be rampant, this is no easy feat. Many people would betray the confidence of a colleague for fifteen seconds of fame as someone with an inside scoop, so an HR employee who can keep his lips sealed is a rare find and should be respected.
Companies want to hire the best people for their teams, so more often than not, they will end up with a diverse range of characters filling up the workplace. While this might bode well in terms of collective brainpower, personality-driven conflicts can’t help but arise in the midst of such different people. Tempers flare and people lash out, especially in pressure-filled situations. In those cases, it is best to have an objective third party step in if an argument becomes too large or messy for the people involved to contain. That’s where HR comes to the rescue. Since they are trained and equipped to handle those situations, they can sit down with each party, understand both sides of the story, identify the root of the issue, and restore peace between the coworkers.
Human resources professionals are usually in charge of monitoring the level of employee satisfaction throughout an organization, but this task is a lot more complicated than it sounds. With satisfaction being such a vague, subjective feeling, HR has to figure out a way to measure it the best they can. This is where surveys, exit interviews, and even focus group discussions come in—all aim to determine an employee’s feelings about the company at any given time. Their work doesn’t end at just measuring employee satisfaction, though. If rates are low, HR is also responsible for determining the case of this decline, and they also have to find ways to boost morale and address the issues that might be at play. Considering how many employees might view non-work-related activities as a waste of time, human resources has a daunting task ahead of them.
The surprising thing? They make it look easy—or at least a lot easier than it seems. The entire human resources department plays a huge role in helping an organization run smoothly. Don’t let their efforts go to waste—celebrate them!