Stay in the HR profession long enough, and you will begin to realize that there are certain ‘universal truths’ that every company faces. One of those truths is that some employees will not pass up a good opportunity to get ‘under the skin’ of their HR manager.
Here are just a couple of ways those employees can skillfully accomplish that mission:
1. If you are a line manager and you need to provide bad news to an employee, simply blame the decision on HR.
For example, “I proposed a higher salary increase for you, but you know HR, they disagreed. If you have problems with your increase, go talk to HR.”
This is most effective when you can further add, "I'm only doing this because HR told me I had to............."
2. Fail to read and respond to information regarding benefits or any other important items.
Even though clear communication was repeatedly provided to you, along with specific instructions and deadlines for a response, ignore it. If HR talks about it at a meeting, act like you weren’t present at the meeting.
This method also works well when you say, "Oh yeah, I got it but I didn't read it."
3. Wait until you want to fire an employee before coming to HR for help.
Don’t bother wasting time with performance improvement coaching, disciplinary action, and/or that pesky documentation that must accompany all such actions prior to firing an employee.
4. Present an unqualified close friend or relative as the 'perfect' candidate.
Become indignant when the HR manager requires that normal hiring filters and protocols must occur. Act as if it is some sort of personal attack against your integrity.
This approach is most annoying when you can bring up an example of someone else who was hired as a referral, and they didn't have to 'jump through all of these hoops.'
5. Become a world-class tattletale.
Feel the need to report every perceived slight or unfairness to the HR manager. Don’t take responsibility or try to resolve the problem yourself, instead go directly to HR for a 'quick fix.'
Make sure that everyone is aware that you are only sharing this information for the good of the organization, and not personal gain.
For help with a variety of talent management issues, please contact me Tom Sheehan.