Human Resources departments often get a bad rap in the workplace—but is it really justified? Studies have shown that HR departments are often seen as unresponsive and uncaring when it comes to employee concerns, leading to their reputation as the “bad guy” in the corporate world.
But why does this happen so often? Let’s take a closer look at some of the common complaints about HR.
One of the most frequent criticisms of HR departments is their lack of responsiveness. Employees will often complain that they don’t receive prompt responses from HR when they have an issue or concern, or that their grievances go unheard altogether. This can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment from employees, which can impact their overall job performance.
Another complaint is that HR tends to be distant and aloof when it comes to dealing with personal problems or issues within the company. Often, employees feel like they’re talking to a computer rather than another human being when trying to address a problem with HR. This leaves employees feeling disconnected and without any real solutions for their problems.
Finally, there is also criticism that HR has become too bureaucratic, with numerous forms and procedures getting in the way of solving problems quickly and efficiently. This leads to more paperwork and red tape than necessary and can make things worse if not perceived appropriately by those involved.
At its core, these are all valid concerns about how HR operates in the corporate world—but a company with good HR leadership will work to find a way ensure that their HR business partners don't create an atmosphere where these types of issues will be raised.
At the end of the day, HR is called on for a variety of things: for ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations, maintaining policies on workplace safety, sexual harassment, and other topics, managing employee performance and reviews, investigating and resolving disputes, processing data, upholding standards, and on and on. It's a big job, but that's not an excuse not to do it well. The question often is whether a company values the HR function enough to devote the time and resources to making sure that the department operates successfully.