“Your friend is terrific; he doesn’t have the courtesy and doesn’t know how to speak with employees.” I had a new employee who was referring my old friend in HR, working in one automobile industry.
“She never speaks right, deviates the subject and very arrogant. Her nature is threatening.” Another person was telling his impression about his earlier HR colleague.
There are certain HR professionals who give the bad impression about the profession. Why HR professionals fail to earn respect? Somebody may say that the HR profession is thankless. We are perceived differently by the employees. Employees take convenient stand. If something goes against the employee, he will curse the HR. At one side, we have to enforce the policies, rules and regulations, at another side we are expected to be good with employees, how it is possible?
Valid reason. But still, as the HR professional I am not convinced.
People misinterpret aggressiveness for assertiveness. Every professional should be assertive & not necessary aggressive. Some people say that in sales you need to be aggressive. Imagine if you are aggressive with the customer, will he tolerate you? Customer is the king and as a customer one can not tolerate arrogance. Your assertiveness will help you put your points.
Assertiveness and Aggressiveness are not similar words. You should be assertive and not necessarily aggressive. Aggressive itself defines arrogance; however assertiveness is perquisite for any profession. Most of the times, these two words are considered same.
“Earlier General Manager was replaced because MD thought that he was not enough aggressive.” I heard this statement from senior level employee, “He was good and very through professional.” It happens in owner driven companies. In fact I have seen some HR professionals who are very impolite and arrogant. They behave in such a way that they know everything in the world and they claim that they are the people who manage the show in the organization. God knows what they do?
Most of the times, candidates are the victims of such behaviour. Just check with your HR person who is coordinating recruitment. She doesn’t understand that talent attraction is very difficult, but she can make the mess just because she has the privilege for screening somebody.
“For now, avoid HR like the plague. They are not your friends, and can be your worst enemy, and, most of the time, they are.” I heard this while one senior level marketing professional was telling his friend.
“Most HR professionals are trained only to screen people out. This is fine for a fork-lift driver or clerk. Do they know how to assess a candidate?” this is one of the perceptions among other professionals.
“HR loves to have power. The HR departments in most companies are trying hard to grab more and more power. This department is concerned with the safe, the tried and true, and the stodgy. These are, of course, the very things that keep a company from actually rising above the competition and getting noticed.” One another myth, but mere perception.
“HR is not trained to evaluate executives. HR people are trained to read job descriptions, not people. Their track record for selecting the right people is not likely to be very stellar. They can choose people who, on paper, are qualified, but not necessarily the best person for the job. They also don’t understand the duties of executive level personnel, nor technical personnel”. I heard this during networking session in one conference. This can be true because he must have shared his own experience. HR likes to obstruct and take lots of time.
Somebody may say that this all is applicable to all professionals in their respective area. Why to blame HR only. I believe that HR has the major role to play. All professionals should be on right track and should not exhibit the traits which I explained.
“Vinod, Every line manager is a HR manager now a day; hence HR should play the role of godfather.” Mr. Sharad Phadake, the then GM, Igatpuri plant of M&M advised me.
“We, HR professionals are from different school of thoughts. They claim that they have the expertise in People Management and hence it is their responsibility (and also accountability) to exhibits the same in day to day interactions. HR should play the role of coach, mentor to these professionals.
The competencies like interpersonal skills, communication skills, team skills, change management is not only for other professional. HR also needs this. Values like respect for people, Empathy, credibility, customer orientation are necessary for every employee, and every include HR also.
And believe me; it is possible to earn the respect for HR. In spite of different paradoxes, you can earn the respect provided you are open to change; you are open to new ideas.