Yup, I’m pretty tough on human resources offices. No doubt this orientation is grounded in the shared stories of so many workplace bullying targets who report being abandoned or set up by HR. Rare is the bullying account that expresses appreciation for HR’s intervention.
However, I fully concede that HR often is in a difficult place, caught in the cross fires of organizational politics. It’s why I’ve posed the question of whether an ethical HR officer can survive in a lousy workplace.
It’s also the case that ethical, pro-active HR practices typically fall under the radar screens. Why? Because if HR is doing its job in a good workplace, then we’re highly unlikely to hear about it!
In any event, here are past posts that emphasize HR situations and actions when things aren’t going so great:
1. “Workplace bullying is bad for business” (2012) — Linking to a Worcester Business Journal op-ed I authored that discusses HR’s role in dealing with workplace bullying situations.
2. Are HR professionals bullied at work? (2011) — Unfortunately, independently-minded HR officers are potential bullying targets, too.
3. Quiet cover-ups (2011) — When HR is complicit in covering up bad behavior.
4. The “exit parade” as a worker termination protocol (2011) — All that’s missing is the firing squad (pun intended).
5. Can an ethical HR officer survive at a bad company? (2010) — A very challenging question.
6. SHRM opposes workplace bullying legislation (2010) — Disappointing. Very disappointing.
7. Don’t assume that HR is your buddy (2010) — HR plays a vital role in the workplace, but workers should not mistakenly regard HR as their ally.
8. HR as grim reaper (2009) — Being the terminator can come with costs.
9. “HR was useless” (2009) — One of this blog’s most popular posts, placing a common worker complaint against the purposes & loyalties of HR.