Human Resources: Partners in the Workplace
HR. It is the department that handles our hiring and firing, but could there be a higher value beyond these entrance and exit procedures? The answer is yes, absolutely, without a doubt! HR is more than just the department that fills out your tax forms and conducts interviews; it is chock-full of individuals that can become your strongest and most valuable allies within the workplace. Here are three reasons why.
1. They understand the personalities and attitudes of your coworkers and superiors, and they can actually do something about it.
HR professionals work in the same workplace as you but are equipped with the tools to take action accordingly and appropriately. Having a positive rapport with the human resources staff at any company will allow for personal advising when situations concerning a boss or manager arise. Don't wait till you depart the company to let the HR department know that you were having issues with a manager or coworker, use your professional relationship with the department to your benefit and be upfront about issues as they come about.
2. They can prevent small mishaps from turning into avalanches, but can also save your reputation if the worst-case scenario occurs.
There are laundry lists full of rules we must follow within the workplace. If a manager or coworker is walking the fine line between the keeping and breaking of these rules, an HR professional is a strong ally to have. In the case of discrimination or harassment, for example, talking to human resources about any odd behavior or suspicions you have will keep you honest and upfront if an event is later denied. HR professionals can document any concerns you may have and can potentially save your job. If for some reason the roles are reversed and the possibility of being sued by a coworker comes into play, human resources can also be your best friend. If there is a situation or time in which something may have been said or done without having malicious or poor intentions, a visit to HR will document your effort to resolve the situation and could play in your favor if action is ever taken.
3. They can help you climb the ladder or keep you working.
Human Resources can help you find a more satisfying job within the same workplace, can improve your job ranking and can ever keep you employed if accusations of performance conflict or a reduction in workforce ever come into fruition. Building a relationship, and in many ways, a partnership, with an HR professional is essential for any of these outcomes to occur. Tell them about your concerns in the workplace in addition to your triumphs and successes. Sharing these details will give human resources an honest look at your progress and will equip them with tools to defend your work ethic and skill set.
As you can see, HR professionals are so much more than hiring managers or peacekeepers; they are your partners within the workplace and their presence should never be taken for granted.