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HR, the Most Lovable Profession.

Background
Recently in one of the HR-group…someone shared one statement, which was “All employees in all organizations hate HR. This is the statement of a high profile professional (other than HR) employee. So what is your experience?” No more information was provided by this person and if not less, we all exchanged close to 100 e-mails, discussing about the topic and throughout the discussion the originator of the debate, kept mum. Some people said few things in favor of HR and few people said against HR. At the end, we ended up by making few statements…having just difference of opinion. Few people went on to share one of the articles, titled “Why we hate HR written by Keith H Hammonds of Fast Company and posted on December 09, 2005.

I interrogated the person who originated this debate in its current form and he shared two things, “This statement made in private and I didn’t react on it. For few days this statement haunted me and to know the experience from all HR professionals about this I circulated the mail” and “Even many HR professionals say HR is thankless job. Therefore I plainly put up the mail to get the experiences of all you”. After reading this, I didn’t know if I should laugh on the immaturity of this person and should get angry on his attitude.

I have few questions for my fellow HR professionals and Business Managers, they are:

1) Everyday as a person or professional you meet so many people; do all of them love you?

2) Talking about profession, which is the profession, which is liked by all and sundry? Do you like lawyers…police personal…politicians? Why only to point at HR-Professional?

3) How many of you Love George W. Bush and how many have you hate Osama Bin Ladin? How many of you love Tony Blair and hate Saddam Hussain?

Challenges for HR Professionals:

Human Resource Professionals deals with the most difficult part of any organization – “Human Beings”. They are not machines. They have emotions, sentiments, different behavior, different beliefs and culture. A part from that, we have Government, labor laws, and law enforcement body. Over and above that we have investors, management and board of directors. I don’t know how you are expected to keep all these people happy?

Challenges for HR Professionals:

Human Resource Professionals deals with the most difficult part of any organization – “Human Beings”. They are not machines. They have emotions, sentiments, different behavior, different beliefs and culture. A part from that, we have Government, labour laws, and law enforcement body. Over and above that we have investors, management and board of directors. I don’t know how you are expected to keep all these people happy?

Competencies in HR Professionals:

Certainly, even HR professionals need to change the way they work. “Proper Communication”, I repeat, “Proper Communication” can solve most of your problems and issues. To have proper communication, one should have proper information about the labour laws, about business, about policies and procedures of the company and about the industry. Most of the time…most of the HR professionals…don’t have this. Proper Communication also includes “Proper Listening” and that is also lacking in some of the HR-Professionals. “Understanding Human Behavior” is another trait, which can help in addressing many problems.

Why employees hate HR?

Employees hate HR, when they don’t get solution for their problems. They don’t get

Proper information. There is communication gap. (Is there anything else that they expect from you?

Solution:

Of Course, “Proper Communication” can solve many issues. If there is any query, give “legally supported” and “logically correct” solution. I also feel that as we are growing…as there are more and more mediums of communications…we are not communicating properly and I tell you…proper communication can solve many problems both at personal and professional front. Those people, your employees are not duffers or dumb…don’t try to be over-smart. Don’t lie to them. The day they come to know that the information provided by you is false or fake…they will start hating you.

Customer Centric Approach:

This is the best way to know…where you are wrong. Why they hate you? And what are the areas of improvement? Treat them as your Customers and let the part of HR department behave as “Customer Service Centre”. Treat them the way you like to be treated when you are “Customer” and at the service centre of other service providers. As they say, “Don’t do what you don’t want other to do to you”…”Don’t serve the food that you don’t like to eat”.

Conclusion and Love-Hate Equation

I feel that it is one love-hate equation, where some people love you and some hates you. In a crowd of more than two people you cannot expect everyone to love you…everyone to agree with you. That has never happened and will never happen. There will always be few people who will love you and few to hate you. Only thing that you can do is that by your work…by your behavior…by your attitude…you can have more people to love you…to love your profession and hate you and your profession. To tilt this equation, entirely depends on an individual, his style of working and his approach. Love-hate equation can be different in different company. No degree and no education can give you an assurance that all people will “Just” love you. You are MBA from Harvard, Oxford, London School of Business or IIM; you are certified by SHRM or CIPD; no institute can give you an assurance that your employee will always agree with you and will always love your work.

As I said in one of my previous write-up… few people…just few people by their behavior, work and attitude brings bad name for the organization, for the profession, for the community and for the country.

Think about it…and share your comments and feedback.

Regards: Sanjeev Sharma

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