Try asking this question – “do you like HR department?” You are bound to get mixed responses depending upon their experiences with the HR folks, but there is no denying the fact that you need HR!
When are HR people loved? When are they hated?
Whenever they meet the expectations of their stakeholders, the HR folks are loved. For example, when a good compensation hike has been announced, all those people who received the hike praise them and say that the HR department is very proactive and keeps the compensation in line with the market. They love HR!
What about those who were not given any increment? They say that HR practices are unfair and unprofessional and may feel that practically there is no HR and everything is decided by the line manager while HR ends up as a mere paper pusher. They hate HR!
In an effort to keep as many employees happy as possible, if HR department proposes attractive hikes and liberal performance standards (thereby having 0% bottom performers), they are hated by the top management.
Yet, stakeholders always need HR. When top management wants to communicate tough messages, they need HR. When employees want the policies to be friendlier, they need HR or when managers want more manpower, they need HR to recruit.
How should the HR manager feel? Surely, mixed emotions! Confused focus….
Mixed emotions because they are loved by some and hated by some. Confused because they do not know which stakeholder to satisfy and which stakeholder to ignore. There are built-in contradictions in the expectations of disparate stakeholders.
With this confusion, HR managers evolve themselves leaning towards one of these stakeholders. Therefore, we end up seeing HR department that is leaning towards ‘management’ and thereby displeasing the employees; some HR departments leaning towards ‘employees’ and thereby in conflict with the management.
Those HR managers who retain their balance and conscience will carry themselves as per the situation and keeping the larger picture in mind and not aiming for popularity!