Human Resources has many connotations, and several of them are, unfortunately, negative. Ask five people to explain the job to you, and you’ll get a different description every time. What this tells us is that people don’t understand or appreciate the profession… It’s high-time that changed!
Here are five HR myths we encounter regularly, debunked:
Myth #1 — The Firing Squad
This one is a big one. We hire and fire people. We don’t fire people. Managers fire people. We coach and counsel. When HR needs to fire someone instead of the manager, that manager is not doing his or her job. In this situation, HR shows a lack of courage and skills to coach the leader to do it himself or herself. We help the business make business decisions and provide data on pros and cons of a situation. The business is the one that makes the decision and, ultimately, hires and fires people.
Myth #2 — The CIA
People think we are spies for the leaders. Not true. We provide feedback at all levels—meaning we talk about talent and how people are performing to leaders. We often point out things that the leader might not see. We take the temperature of the organization and help leaders understand if there are issues in the culture that they may not see. Our job is to understand what is going on with people. We ask questions and make observations... That can look like the CIA to some, I guess!
Myth #3 — The Shrink
This is a common misconception because we do a lot of therapist type work and listen to many issues and concerns from leaders and employees. However, not everything is confidential. If there are issues going on in a team, we want and need to help address those issues. It’s our job! We won’t keep your secrets if they are harmful to other employees or the business in any way. Our first responsibility is always to the success of the organization as a whole.
Myth #4 — The Mouthpiece
We hear this one all the time! We just say what leadership wants. And, well, sometimes we do deliver messages on behalf of the leadership that we do not like. While we don’t always agree with all the decisions that have to be executed, as HR Warriors, we must find the balance of explaining and communicating a business decision while being very aware of employees’ issues and concerns.
Myth #5 — The Buzzkill
Yes, HR can be fun, and we don’t have to be OCD about the policy book. No one wants to be around the buzzkill, and HR doesn’t have to play the dour party pooper role. We can have fun and understand that rules are there, but we don’t need to remind everyone during a party about them! This myth is the buzzkill, not HR.
These myths stem from outdated perceptions of HR, and we are on a mission to dispel them! That said, it’s important for an HR Warrior to be aware of the challenges that exist in the profession. Knowing how people perceive you is important and helpful. That way, you can understand the baggage they are bringing to the table. You can talk to them and do something about it. You can come up with solutions and solve talent issues creatively. At least, that’s what an HR Warrior would do!
HR Warrior® Workshops
If you’re sick of the negative perceptions surrounding HR, and you’re ready to take CHARGE™ of your narrative, our HR Warrior® Workshops are for you. Learn how to drive your career and your organization forwards and join us in creating the future of HR!