The role of HR has evolved significantly over the last few decades. Today, HR professionals have a lot of responsibilities, including recruiting, onboarding, and engagement, among other things. HR departments work to make sure their employees are given the support they need to reach their full potential. In doing so, organizations become stronger and grow more rapidly.
That’s what HR is supposed to do, anyway. So how does your department stack up? Now that you know what your HR department should be doing, let’s take a look at three things HR professionals should avoid at all cost:
1. Firing an employee immediately after someone has complained about them
When employees indicate they need to talk with someone, HR employees should be quick to schedule an agreeable time for both parties to meet. They should also take any and all complaints seriously from the get-go.
That said, just because an employee is complaining about one of their coworkers doesn’t necessarily mean those complaints are valid. So once such a meeting concludes, HR employees should work diligently to investigate any serious claims.
Instead of taking every employee’s complaints at face value and deciding to discipline folks who are complained about, HR people should talk to the complainee’s direct manager first. From there, they can determine whether the situation needs to be investigated further.
2. Asking an employee to reveal super-personal information
At least at some level, we all value our privacy. There are things that have happened to us or things we have experienced that we only choose to share with those closest to us — if we choose to share them at all.
While HR professionals certainly have to deal with confidential information from time to time (e.g., asking about an illness if an employee is sick for a substantial time period), they should never force their employees to reveal incredibly personal information, particularly when it’s not really relevant.
Being asked to reveal personal information unnecessarily can be quite embarrassing for shyer employees. Beyond that, employees are less likely to seek out the counsel of the HR department if they feel embarrassed, like they’re going to be put on the spot.
HR should never press employees to reveal any more about themselves than they want to. That’s how strong, trusting relationships are built.
3. Holding workers to different standards
Let’s say Joe is your best salesman. Quarter after quarter, he crushes it and consistently outshines his peers. There’s a catch: Joe’s behavior is obnoxious. He’s inappropriate so frequently that when he acts like a normal professional, people take notice.
Finally, one of his coworkers complains that Joe has crossed the line. It’s the first time anyone’s formally complained about him.
If you would discipline another employee for behaving similarly to Joe after they were complained about, you have to discipline Joe too. And don’t go soft on him either. HR departments can’t play favorites. To establish trust, workers need to be held to the same standards.
Steer clear of the above three pitfalls, and your workforce should feel that much more connected to your HR department — which in turn boosts employee engagement and your bottom line.