Source | LinkedIn : By Alan Collins
Here’s the brutally unpleasant dark side of being an HR professional…
No matter what you do, someone is going to criticize and distrust you — and many will hate you, even if they don’t know your name.
That’s the reality.
It comes with the territory.
And there are lots of reasons why.
First of all, if you’re doing your HR job well, your actions will directly and negatively affect the personal lives, dreams, ambitions and the livelihoods of every single employee in your organization.
That’s a fact.
For example, in staffing situations, for every one person that is thrilled to be hired or promoted, you’re often the bad guy that has to call up and dash the career hopes of six to ten others by letting them know they didn’t get the job.
In job eliminations, you are often the last person the terminated employee sees and talks to about all the great benefits the company will no longer be providing to them and their family now that they’ve been whacked.
Your inside knowledge about that planned layoff, those anticipated cutbacks in the health care plan, that business that is about to be sold off or that outsourcing decision that will wipe out an entire department — all of which can affect the peace of mind, families and the paychecks of many of your closest non-HR colleagues — puts you in a position to keep secrets, sidestep the truth, come across as coldly objective or seem distrustful because you cannot reveal what you know.
Secondly, your HR role often requires you to deliver bad news.
For example, saying no to a manager who wants give an “out-of-guidelines” increase to her indispensable, superstar employee who has just been offered a huge salary increase at another company.
Or disappointing a powerful executive who is hellbent on terminating an employee immediately, but hasn’t followed the proper progressive disciplinary guidelines and hasn’t afforded the employee the opportunity to correct their performance.
In these situations, most great leaders will respect your stance. However, a few deep down will blame you for throwing a monkey wrench into their plans and serving as a bureaucratic speed bump to the success of their business.
Thirdly, some people may not even hold a grudge against you personally. They just hate your guts because they had a run-in with someone in HR over a mistake made years ago.
It could be that an error was made in their merit increase, dental program deductible or the effective date of their promotion — individual situations that happened long before you even came on the scene. But you’re guilty by association and held responsible because “you’re HR.”