In companies around the world, HR is often seen as the ‘spooky’ department where employees often go to be punished or even let go. There is also a common perception that HR is typically filled with a bunch of bureaucratic paper-pushers who are sticklers for the rules and are in general not fun to be around.
This negative perception may stem from the fact that HR departments are responsible for knowing everything about the people in the office; from employee’s salaries to who will be terminated next. All this combined with the fact that they give very limited information to employees regarding their activities result in a sense of distrust among other members of the company. In other words, employees’ belief regarding HR’s bad reputation is most likely because individuals only focus on the negative experience or chaotic program when dealing with HR.
An HR department’s responsibilities are far more diverse than handing out dismissal letters and keeping employees in line. Things like onboarding, policymaking, cultural programs, hiring, and offboarding all fall under the purview of HR. Yet, many employees who have never seen what it really looks like in HR department often see the dark side from outside.
Fortunately, there has been a positive trend as of late where companies today are focusing on improving working culture, retaining employees, and making sure that everything related to employees run smooth and easy. The general principle behind tis is that happy employees are efficient employees, resulting in the changing of HR function. Although HR is still responsible for legal issues, misconduct, and the like; corporate changes allow HR to be more effective people organiser, talent optimisers, and change maker.
The following are three simple tips to help change employees’ view of HR to something more positive.
Reintroduce the human element in HR
Technology has allowed us to be more analytical and automation-centric. However, it also makes it harder for people to connect emotionally. HR tech has helped in more ways than one in easing HR jobs from payroll to employee engagement. Unfortunately, that very same tech can create an emotional gap between employees and the HR function itself.
Reintroducing some human interaction between employees and the HR department can go a long way in building emotional connections and breaking down negative perceptions. After all, the HR department is filled with human employees too.
Focus on innovation
This might sound contradictory with the first tip, but it is the unavoidable truth that HR functions such as employee management, payroll, and onboarding would be difficult to conduct without some form of automation. Therefore, albeit human connection should not be left behind, leveraging technology to streamline administrative tasks and empower HR to work with a strategic capacity should be your utmost priority.
Giving employees their due recognition is not just the boss’ job, it is the HR department’s too. Recognition is a vital component in making employees feel valued. It is also one of the ways to open up transparent communication in order to build trust. Besides, HR practitioners should emphasise to employees that they are not only firing and disciplining. Hence, don’t let disciplines and corrections are the only things employees hear from upper management. Giving the occasional thanks or small reward to deserving employees can go a long way in boosting the morale of workers.