An open letter to the HR Dept

An open letter to the HR Dept

Posted: Tuesday 1 July 2014. Author: Capita HR solutions.

EVERYONE likes giving feedback (and Mickey Harte, Brian McIvor and even poor old Roy Hodgson are on the receiving end of plenty of it this weather).

Everyone and their dog (or cat) has an opinion on human resources and its practitioners and is ready to dish out plenty of feedback in relation to our discipline.

How often have you heard, or said, phrases like ‘more stupid rules’ or ‘not living in the real world’ in relation to HR? And maybe sometimes you’re right. Indeed I have lost count of the ridiculous HR articles and sound bites that I have read or listened to over the years. However - have you ever stopped to consider the crazy stuff we HR people have to deal with? Feedback is not all one way you know!

So, in the spirit of giving, I thought I would pass on my top 12 lessons learned from working in HR for the benefit of a better workplace... in no particular order:

  1. The world does not owe you a living. Turning up for work is not a blessing you bestow on the rest of your colleagues. You get paid for it. In turn this pays your mortgage/ holiday/food bill. It’s normally a pretty fair equation.
  2. If you really don’t like the job you are doing, then there are other jobs out there. It’s better to be happy than miserable and maybe you could even alleviate the suffering of others through your departure!
  3. Having said that, you also have to realise that the grass is not always greener. There are plenty of folk who leave only to want to come straight back. Sometimes it’s good to just smell the roses and appreciate what you have and who you work with.
  4. Sick days are not additional holidays. They are there to cater for times when you are genuinely too ill to come to work, not when you have a hangover or feel a little bit tired.
  5. Broadcast and receive are two different settings. Learn when to use them.
  6. Saying ‘I’m only joking’ after your latest bit of poorly thought out humour is not a get out of jail free card. Know your audience and think before you speak.
  7. Not everyone in work will like you. Get over it and stop trying to please everyone.
  8. Sometimes you have to make decisions for yourself. HR can give you options. We can point out the risks, benefits and potential outcomes of a decision. But sometimes it’s you that is being paid to make that call.
  9. You should also realise that your HR department does not have a direct dial into the European Court of Justice. We cannot guarantee what will happen if that bizarre issue you are trying to deal with ends up in court. We can only extrapolate based on knowledge and experience and make an educated guess.
  10. Social media is called ‘social’ for a reason. Other people read it. Remember that.
  11. Reign in the technical jargon; being understood is more essential than sounding important.
  12. No one, not even HR people, like appraisals.

So even though this is a little tongue in cheek, it might give some food for thought – it’s not only HR people who have a view askew on occasion.

Capita HR solutions