Lesson Learned: Don’t Trust HR

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 | 0 comments

As someone who works in the people side of business, those words make my skin crawl.  That said, I know the back story behind that statement.  A very good friend of mine was recently let go from her high-paying corporate job for being the squeaky wheel.  She was working under a very degrading, narcissistic boss who seemed to “target” certain employees to take out his frustration and the stress of his job.  She had been documenting situations directed towards her that were less than appropriate and finally reported to her HR department when the “abuse” became too much to bear.I Dont Trust HR

Now let me explain, it is my belief that HR walks a fine line between being the support for employees and managing the needs of the organization.  I believe that hard, unpopular decisions need to be made in business when we are dealing with people’s lives.  That said, the way I have been witnessing lately how organizations are treating their people as they are being pushed out the door makes my skin crawl even more so than the fact that people are learning to not trust those of us working in Human Resources that are there to support them.

The start of my friend’s demise, she was told to go home and take a few days to collect herself.  They would investigate her documents.  Yes she shared with HR all of the past year’s documents of conversations, bullying, yelling, and degrading comments from her boss.  At the time, they were very sympathetic but within a few days, she had received her notice of separation due to shortage of work and she was to come in to collect her things under the watch of the security guard.  My friend had worked her butt off for this company, staying late, working weekends, sacrificing her personal time and health for the sake of her job and now she was being escorted out the door without even mentioning the situation that shed light on an ugly truth that seemed to be swept under the rug.

And in my community where I live I am hearing how workplaces are being shut-down without notice.  Employees get to work only to be sent home immediately by the head office HR department.  I understand that there is a business risk of employee sabotage but we are dealing with people.  Can we not come up with a better way to ease the sting of being let go and business closure?  There may not be a full win-win but can we somehow create an environment where people keep their dignity, remain empowered while the business (and the HR department) maintain their respect and reputation?

In my world, which may be admittedly rosey, I see workplace cultures that are collaborative and supportive, transparent and openly communicative.  Workplaces today are evolving to get to this state but it isn’t happening quickly enough especially in challenging economic times.  Some forward-thinking employers are providing support and options for their employees, even as they leave the organization under the watchful eye of security.  Sometimes this needs to happen but it is in the way that it happens that saves the dignity of the individual.   Maintaining relationships is imperative.  Rather than pushing people down, we can continue to build them up.  The transition as the employee adjusts to life without their job will be much smoother and quicker if their pride and dignity remains intact plus there just might be fewer backlashes towards the former employer.  This is my vision and mission.  This is what motivates me so that people do not have to learn to never trust HR.

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