What is the Perception of the Role of the HR Department and Staff?
Last week’s The Desk of Gman newsletter asked the question, “Why is the HR Department Treated So Badly?”  And as one would guess I received well over 300 Emails directly, through the newsletter and through LinkedIn.  Some took me to task accusing me siding with the “enemy.”  Some explained how and why things worked in their companies and yet others (which was most of the responses) described their perception and experiences with the HR Departments at various organizations. 
I must admit, much of it was apparently painful and truly an eye opener to me.  I say that not because I point the finger at the HR team, but the management team(s) who made, implemented, directed and enforced a system that misses the point that “….it is all about the people.”  When a company gets an employee turnover issue because THE COMPANY’S system is broken, their knee jerk reaction is to hire another at perhaps less money.  But what happens when the new hard charging employee, goes to work in the broken system?  Sooner or later, they are looking for his/her replacement as well.

Below are a few unembellished excerpts from last week’s newsletter:  (Please don’t kill the messenger and your comments are welcomed)
“….I'm surprised that you had a 2 1/2 hour discussion with a C level client. It's pretty darn rare to get this kind of time commitment from someone at the executive level”

“….I have worked for a few large corporations in my career and in each, HR was viewed by the EMPLOYEES unfavorably. In each of these cases, HR was an insidious disease fostered by senior management. Each middle manager was assigned an HR rep constantly digging for the "garbage" on fellow employees.  In every case, my HR rep used information to undermine personnel management, share sensitive information up the leadership chain, causing people to be fired. As a middle manager, senior management driven HR policies create an environment of distrust and constant scheming, allowing personality conflicts to bloom and justifying the friction to create open channels for the flow of unflattering information.”
“….I am an HR Recruiter….I have experienced everything in this discussion and it's frustrating because as a Recruiter, I believe that the H.R. in my title and in my job stands for Human RELATIONS, not Human Resources. But being in the HR department I know for a fact that our employees and especially our Managers feel like HR is against them. Many feel like HR is supposed to be digging up dirt and getting rid of people... it's a tuff job! The worst part is the challenge I face in finding good prospective candidates, getting them to come in, going through the process, and then when I do hire them it's like we do everything we can to get rid of them, instead of onboarding, training and giving them the desire retire form the company. Seems like every time I hire a new employee they are getting nitpicked for their personality, their age, their looks, the way they talk... everything but whether or not they can do the work... this is not only stupid, it also makes me a bit paranoid, which has an adverse effect on my ability to do my job!”

“….Many managers and executives share the same perceptions and where there’s fire, there's smoke. I agree the HR dept. is saddled with bureaucracy and with keeping the company and those very managers out of legal trouble. It is also an area where it is difficult to hire the best leaders so the cycle continues. The same obstacles face the Legal and Compliance teams as well as other support groups. Those these obstacles are material, leadership can make a difference.”
“….Most employees view the HR department as the bad cops that executive management uses to promote and enforce policies and business processes that either hinder or eliminate opposition or new ideas of the individual employee.” 
George F. Mancuso, CPC - CEO
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.