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HR will see you now… October 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Was reading an article recently where BTL someone noted that…

If there is an HR department, report the egregious things, but realize that HR is there to protect the company, not you.

It’s a key point. And I’ve had dealings with HR myself over the years in different workplaces to know the truth of that. It’s not that HR is some sort of evil – or that it can be unuseful, oddly I’ve found when asked to do unreasonable things that saying I’ll run that by my union and HR is often extremely effective. But its function is not that of an union.

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1. Joe - October 30, 2018

Yep. HR is not a union. It’s management. Problem now is that there’s no union organised in many workplaces. And the kids are queuing up for jobs in all these multinationals which have no unions but go all for this ‘great place to work’ lark.

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2. An Sionnach Fionn - October 30, 2018

As far as I can see, HR’s primary function is to protect the company from liability in terms of its legal responsibilities to its employees. I’ve never known a HR Dept or person who had any concern for employees beyond the needs or interests of the employer. It is not a neutral third party, though it is frequently presented as such by managers and supervisors.

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Joe - October 30, 2018

“I’ve never known a HR Dept or person who had any concern for
employees beyond the needs or interests of the employer.”
That’s not my experience. The HR people I’ve known have been a mix of all sorts – people who can’t do their job because they’re useless or because the organisation is useless or they’ve never been properly trained and so on; people whose only concern is the needs or interests of the employer; people who genuinely have a concern for employees and their welfare. And a good mix of all of the above. Yes, HR people are people too. I should know, I is one.

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An Sionnach Fionn - October 30, 2018

I’ll take your word for it, Joe 🙂 Just going by my own experiences, three HR depts in three large companies, and the HR folk were dire. Human, of course, and a mix of all sorts but universally there to keep staff in place. In the second to last company I caught two of the HR girls out in lies in relation to specific rules when our employer were trying to escape paying increased shift premiums for weekend night work. Left me with a very poor impression of that sector.

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WorldbyStorm - October 30, 2018

Though Joe, you work for a fairly (!) enlightened organisation so I’ll bet that inflects HR there. Whereas my experience in the private sector is like that of ASF, fairly grim. On contract in the PS I’ve had better experiences (though one, and not the day job, which was a bit ropey, that in the academic area which is, as we know on here a whole different kettle of fish).

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deadmanonleave - October 31, 2018

Through my journey from worker and rep to manager and somebody who sits on the other side of the table these days, I think that Joe has it right. HR, ER, Personnel or whatever it’s called is a mix of a few types, but the ones who are good and survive, are the ones who make sure that rules are followed by managers, and who have more than a bit of empathy with people on the sharp end of decisions.
If they’re management stooges, they’ll get run over by good reps or legal action, if they’ve got too much conscience, they’ll probably give up eventually.

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WorldbyStorm - November 1, 2018

Good to hear DMOL. Genuinely so as it happens.

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3. oliverbohs - October 30, 2018

I got to say, when I was entering the workplace, way back when in better times never to be repeated, none of this would have properly registered with me. The young people need to know. Of course,no matter what age you are, bitter experience can be the only way of learning sometimes

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EWI - October 30, 2018

HR is definitely the Dark Side, and not there to to help the workers, rather management. ‘Just following policies’ is not much of a defence.

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4. EWI - October 30, 2018

Safari on iOS, by the way, is suggesting ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ as a search term in connection with this post 🤔

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