A colleague of mine maintains that when the phrase “Personnel” was eliminated from business usage and replaced by “Human Resources”, the uniqueness of each individual staff member expired, as well.
That HR is there for you, is a myth. That fantasy is perpetuated only by those working in Human Resources and senior management. I actually know HR employees who do not honestly embrace those slick exhortations used to lull the unsuspecting, either; they parrot the ingenuine company axioms because they need their jobs. They do not believe the marketing fertilizer any more than the average working stiff.
Regardless of how much promotional hoopla is thrust at you, particularly the “We’re Here For You!” propaganda, Human Resources does not exist to care for or about you. They will reduce benefits and cut corners wherever they can, just to save money for the company. Why, aren’t they already overpaying and overcompensating you for the work you do? Have you noticed, over the past years that the little perks that made your job more palatable have disappeared? And, if your paycheck seems to be suffering from withdrawal, it is because most companies take a fair amount of its medical coverage costs out of those shrinking wages. Another colleague with over twenty-five years in corporate warfare predicts that soon, companies will not pay for health benefits at all. We will search out our own medical insurance, just like any other policy, which, may not be as bad as you think. At least you will be in control of your own destiny, instead of relying on the generosity and magnanimity of your Human Resources professionals to ferret out the very best coverage they can buy. Not!
Accept it or not, that well-worn maxim “Our People Are Our Best Assets” has no brighter meaning than, “You are an at-will employee, and we can fire you at any time”. Ever try to engage HR when you really have an issue with your boss or a colleague? A friend begged the manager of a very large Human Resources department to transfer her to another division because of a bullying boss; she liked the company and did not want to leave, but her work environment was blatantly hostile. Everyone knew the manager was poison, including HR, but my friend was easily more a bit of collateral damage than the manager would have been. It was just too much trouble to help her, and, although she was told what a valuable asset she was, she received no help from Human Resources and ultimately quit. The takeaway for the rest of the staff? Don’t cause any trouble. You will not enjoy being courageous. It almost never works in your favor.
I suppose there are some folks in HR who are encouraged to work for the benefit of the employees of their company; from what I hear, that only occurs on a very tiny speck of our planet. With the revenue factor driving every business unit, Center of Excellence or backwater office, SOP for HR is all about cash. And, most undeniably, not about you.