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- Human Resources (HR)
If Human Resources Doesn't Care About Employees, Who Will?
Human Resources, as a department, has the very important responsibility of looking out for the employees' best interest. At times, care and a little extra attention must be given to them. A lot of people believe that employees are the company's best assets, and I agree. Unfortunately, actions do not often mimic this philosophy. When this is the situation, employees and the work environment itself suffers. Morale can be fractured to a tragic low.
Whether the issue is equal pay, maintaining a healthy workplace free of harassment and discrimination, or consistent application of rules and regulations, Human Resources need to be available to advocate on the employee's behalf. When employees need someone to stand up for them, Human Resources should be the "hub" for this activity. This representation should remain paramount no matter if this action goes against the popular opinion. After all, if Human Resources does not care, who will?
What's an HR Department to Do?
With downsized staff and limited resources available to Human Resources departments around the country, HR staff members are faced with a lot of challenges to meet the needs of the employees they support in their workplace. At times like these, Human Resources must remain true to what they are in an organization to do. For example, fairness and equality for all should drive the policies and procedures that are in place to create a healthy and productive place for people to interact with one another. Like in many sports, consistency in how they play the game often drives whether they have a winning season or not. Human Resources needs to be consistent in how they handle employment actions so that employees can be successful at work. Honest feedback as to the performance of the employee should be documented to provide a record for the employee's file. Document, document, document remains the mantra for Human Resources even in the year 2012.
Human Resources - Underrated But Always Needed
Professionals in Human Resources deal with a myriad of issues, from FMLA for the birth of a child to the death of an employee at the work site. One of the saddest tasks I have personally had to deal with is the cleaning out of an employee's cubicle on a Monday because he had died over the weekend. It was a task that I chose to do because the department itself was too devastated to deal with the loss. It was something that had to be done and my department chose to take care of it to spare the feelings of those who worked with the employee. As one can guess, there was also the matter of life insurance for the beneficiary. Human Resources can deal with a lot of aspects of a single event.
Human Resources staff, while certainly not martyrs, are individuals who need to keep the employees' best interest at heart. Doing so will lay a foundation of trust for employees who know they can go to this department for guidance and support. An HR Department that is open and available to its employees will provide good example for how all employees should treat one another everyday in the workplace.