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STOP the HR Hate. Looking at You C-Suite.

Updated: 12 hours ago

"I Hate HR." "My Last Company's HR was the worst." HR Haters: Disband.

Founders, CEOs, and other Big Wigs set the tone for the culture. That is common knowledge.

What does your CEO say about HR?

Question: How many of you had the CEO, Founders, Management blame HR when you didn't get the vacation you wanted, or benefit premiums increased?

I will let you in on a secret: HR can not do anything without the approval of the CEO.

Yes. The founders, CEOs, and C-Suite, talk about you behind closed doors.

It is not always good. Now. I can also state from my experience, servers talk about their tables at the side stations. (I was a waitress for years.) Basically, people talk. You do it too.

In Dan Ariely's book, Predictably Irrational, expectations can and do affect a person's experience. "Expectations also shape stereotypes. This is why we have the expectation that an older person will need help with using a computer or that a Harvard student will be intelligent."

Are we stereotyping The HR Dept to the point of allowing the HR Dept to be the whipping boy of the corporate world?

Now. The brain works in a certain way to categorize information. We label to help organize the information we receive. It is not necessarily done to hurt anyone. However, it is our responsibility to vette our thoughts. Are we being just?

SIDE NOTE: Sharkey HR rule 1: Act Without Prejudice.

*We all have prejudices. The key is to use fact not stereotypes for decision-making.

Act in good faith to ensure the success of chosen candidate.

Growing up in poverty gave me a unique perspective as I climbed the corporate ladder. Here's a scenario for you to ponder about judging a book by its' cover.

Two candidates apply for a position.

Candidate A - Polished appearance. Early to interview, and well-rehearsed.

Candidate B - Appearance not as polished, arrives at the nick of time for interview, and is a bit flustered.

Let's look at the candidate's backgrounds:

Candidate A is a nice person. She drives to the interview, her parents are professionals who coach her on proper etiquette, and she may even know people in common with interviewer.

Candidate B is a nice person. She takes the bus to the interview. The bus is late and it is raining. Her goal is to improve her situation. She worked nights for her degree, she wears a discount business suit from Target. Her experience and abilities are a better fit for the position.

Who would you choose? What is the feedback from the C-Suite and/or middle managers?

*In my experience, 9 times out of 10, they want Candidate A.

To some of you who hate HR, HR has saved your job more than once, fought for better benefits, and stopped a grumpy middle manager from firing you because they want to hire a friend. The HR Team takes hell for that one.

The Story of the Petty Controller

"Patty, my father works at EY and they stopped performance reviews." a controller challenged me when she wanted to fire a good employee without reason. Don't worry. I said that would be amazing that an accounting firm known for due diligence would not actually conduct proper procedures with personnel. I have a friend in HR there. I will ask him. The Petty Controller dropped the issue.

Sometimes, CEO will say - "Well, fight it out. You're HR. Aren't you an expert in conflict resolution." That is a cop out. Basically, the CEO is saying hostile work-environment doesn't apply to you. Employees are allowed and sometimes encouraged to mock, blame, or scapegoat HR. Ouch. That hurts.

Fun fact The Petty Controller complained to the CEO about me. She said "Patty smiles too much at work." Yeah, that happened. But don't worry, I am still smiling.

The Bottom Line

HR Really Needs to Understand Operations and Business Work Too

HR needs to understand the C-Suite views HR as "Overhead". Meaning, in black and white, on a PNL statement HR is in the red.

HR forgets to quantify and report costs savings during budget and fiscal meeting. When HR concludes an investigation without expensive lawyers required, when workers comp protocols are followed properly, when the Company is seeking a loan and the due diligence process requires an employee Handbook, and the items go on and on and on.

Remember, the Golden Rule: the one who holds the Gold: Rules. HR holds hands, is first one in the work environment to deal with the employee violence, in the line of fire when an emotionally challenged employee stops taking his medication and tries to punch the HR Lady. HR orders the flowers, the gift certificates, works on Christmas and New Years to run payroll. Who orders the flowers for the HR Team?

Give HR a chance.

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