Human Resource Myths That Your HR Department Wants to Dispel
Whether you just started working in HR or have been working in HR for some time, you’ve likely recognized that it can be an extremely rewarding career. Simply put, you are making a real difference in the lives of your colleagues. It’s important not to forget that.
That being said, like any other profession, certain recurring stereotypes follow HR professionals. These stereotypes and myths are mostly false, yet it is worthwhile to explore some of these persistent myths. Understanding these myths and stereotypes and explaining them to your colleagues, you can show why your work plays a huge part in your organization’s success.
Myth #1: You and Your HR Colleagues are Overly Focused on the Rules
One of the more prominent HR myths comes from the fact that you and your colleagues are strictly by the book. Think Toby from The Office. Other members of your organization may think that you are more interested in following regulations and procedures than maximizing the potential of the business.
The reality is much more nuanced. Yes, HR professionals may be more attuned to rules and regulations compared to the average employee. It is the nature of the job. Having said this, the rules exist for a reason. HR professionals are trying to protect both the company’s future and ensure the success of its employees. By minimizing risks and staying away from compromising situations, the company’s employees can better do their job. It helps ensure that the organization survives and thrives.
Myth #2: HR is Totally Aligned with the Company, Rather Than Its Employees
Another myth centers on the role of HR in the organization. Specifically, some skeptical employees may not trust HR because they see it as a pure arm of the company.
While it is true that an HR department is created on the company’s behalf, it isn’t a rubber stamp for every management decision. Instead, HR is there to help employees do their best possible work. This can include everything from helping address employee disputes to creating employee wellness programs. It may be easy for your colleagues to forget that HR professionals are working to attract and retain the best possible talent. Because of this, they want to ensure that all employees can work in an environment that is positive, friendly, and collaborative.
Myth #3: HR Is a Lone Wolf
Another myth comes from the fact that employees may not interact with HR on a daily basis. Because of this, they may think that HR is a separate and isolated entity within the organization. This “lone wolf” characterization may spark fear and anxiety towards the department.
Ultimately, HR departments work closely with many other departments in the business. It just may not be as visible as work done by departments like sales or marketing. Most of the time, HR is dealing with issues that are confidential in nature. That being said, they also work on organizational goals that are much more visible (like new health initiatives). So even if your work isn’t always public, your colleagues should rest assured that you and your HR colleagues are hard at work.
Myth #4: HR is Only About Firing People
Finally, this is one of the more common stereotypes. Because HR is involved in the termination process, it can be easy to believe that this is primarily your role. Once again, this is an exaggeration of your normal roles and responsibilities. Yes, you may be involved when employees leave the organization, but your role is so much more than that.
In the aggregate, HR has a more positive than a negative role in the business. It exists to represent both the organization and its employees. Articulating this message to your non-HR colleagues can go a long way in helping them be more reassured when they are in your company.
Dispelling These Common Myths
HR can be confusing or opaque for many different reasons. Some of them are related to the work itself and others are due to a misunderstanding of the role. Whatever the case may be, it is helpful to take those myths and confront them head-on. By doing this, you can build better relationships with your colleagues and assure them that you are on their side.