Can HR be Trusted?

Posted in : HR Updates on 1 March 2023
Olga Pollock
firmus energy
Issues covered: HR; Employee Engagement

Many people definitely have trust issues with HR, believing we are more aligned to the employer’s needs than those of the employee. HR should be regarded however as the go-to department for ironing out any employee relations issues without staff being concerned that they will close ranks with those higher up and be more interested in siding with the CEO.

I watched a TikTok video recently that really riled me. It was claiming how HR is never on your side but on the side of the company, as they are the ones who pay HR’s wages. Of course, videos like these will never go viral without being sensational and controversial but these things are never as black and white as the TikTokers make out. HR are, in most cases, the ones beating the drums for employee rights and working hard to protect them, but equally it is understandable that HR has its employer’s best interests at heart given that they work for them. This doesn’t mean HR having to take the employer’s side however.

HR’s remit includes supporting working conditions, equal opportunities and employee welfare. To this end, it makes little sense for HR to discard employees’ needs for a few short-term gains for the company. In fact, our legal obligations mean that we must remain impartial and act in a facilitative capacity. In other words, it is our responsibility to ensure that the employee is treated fairly and in line with employment legislation striving for a fair outcome and protecting the rights of individuals. In turn, this protects the company’s interests too, so everybody wins.

Some may think that HR will always side with those in power but our responsibility is to protect the collective organisation from the CEO to managers and individual employees. Let’s face it though, HR folk generally don’t do enough to dispel these negative perceptions and the them and us mentality. We should be striving to replace this negativity with conversations around how hard we work to facilitate constructive decisions that push all parties to a united set of goals. The company after all, includes the employees, so let’s focus on building our reputation so that our profession is seen for what it really is: a force for good.

This article is correct at 01/03/2023

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Olga Pollock
firmus energy

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