Four Misconceptions About Human Resources

The title Human Resources sounds simple enough, but what exactly does it entail? Employment begins and ends with human resources, and they are there for every step in between. Hiring, training and administrative duties all lie on the shoulders of the human resources team. Your human resources team is there to help get new employees adjusted to their new position and to make sure all they are protected during their employment. To an employee, human resources is their best friend and voice to management, however, this isn’t a belief shared by all. There are people out there who don’t fully understand how human resources operate and place blame on them for forces that are out of their hands. When it comes to human resources, there are many misconceptions that are confused with the truth.

The HR Police
Probably the biggest misconception about HR is that they are the ones enforcing all the rules, such as the company dress code, not safe for work jokes, and other infractions that can get you in trouble at work. In actuality, the human resources staff have more important matters to deal with during their work day. HR pros are company employees just like everyone else and their job is to serve as the bridge between employees and executives. This fallacy may stem from HR’s involvement with terminations and disciplinary actions, but this is just another part of the job. If HR addresses you, it is because someone, either another employee or management has brought it to their attention. Please, don’t shoot the messenger.

HR Matters Are Completely Confidential
To follow up on this subject, some believe that when you do report something to HR it remains between you and the resource officer. Members of HR are not allowed to passively listen and must report what is told to them for several reasons. Although in some cases your identity may remain confidential, the incident must be reported and addressed to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future to the initial victim or any other employee. Employers may feel alienated about coming forth with a complaint because of fear of losing their job or retaliation, but it is important to remember that legitimate work complaints are protected under federal law.

HR Influences Your Career Path
As stated earlier, HR deals with hiring, training, and even recruitment. However, just because they played a part in getting you into the company, they have little to no influence on how far your performance takes you. When it comes down to promotions and pay raises, that responsibility lies with employee’s managers, supervisors, or other members of upper management. A member of HR may be asked their opinion of the employee, but the final decision rests upon the previously stated parties.

HR Is Just Management’s Voice
Due to them usually being the first representative of the company that most employees interact with and the ones that handle the training, it is often applied that HR is just another branch of management. HR does deliver information to employees from management, but this communication is a two-way street. Employees are free to approach HR with changes they’d like to see in the company for them to pass on to management. The sooner an employee realizes that HR’s job is to help, the sooner they can become more comfortable in their new work environment.

Most, if not all companies have a human resources department. They serve as an integral part of keeping employees happy and bringing fresh talent to a company to expand it. Human Resources serves as the link between successful companies and employees that feel appreciated. Despite the many misconceptions, human resources continue to thrive and bring balance to any place of employment.

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