HR people- do you always side with management?

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  • HR people- do you always side with management?
  • craigxxl
    Member

    They are on company side but if management are breaking employment law they will steer towards a resolution that doesn’t involve them been liable

    Chew
    Member

    HR are there to protect the companies interests and make sure they comply with the Law. You could be in the right, but they wouldnt formally admit it.

    Depends on how friendly your HR department is?

    crankboy
    Member

    Do farm managers ever side with the cattle over the owner. HR’s only remit is the companies interest , they will only coincidentally coincide with the employees interests where the company plans something that will land it in bother in which case they will seek a less risky way of achieving the company’s goals.

    codybrennan
    Member

    Ah, ok. Nutshell:

    -started a new role in March 2013
    -was quickly told I’d have no manager for 6 months
    -was told to find my own support
    -they placed me in incredibly stressful situations I’d never been in before, with little avenue for help
    -after 6 months, that manager who didn’t manager was moved into a new role
    -new temp manager was put in place
    -I got a terrible 2013/14 review (first bad one in my life, I think) at the end of his tenure
    -manager picked out all the negative things from feedback, no positives included
    -there WERE positives, as I went around and asked the feedbackers to forward me their feedback (which they did)

    Stressed to bits. But I’ve just found out that the co. rules say: when you have had more than one manager in the same year, they have to agree on your rating. And I dont think previous manager was consulted.

    Stay and fight, or walk?

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    Walk, if they’re that disorganised fighting will only make them see you as the problem. Find another role on your terms rather than theirs.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Who pays their wages? Tells you all you need to know!

    ninfan
    Member

    The days of the ‘personnel’ department, that was usually stacked with wives and offspring of other staff on site and kept over exuberance of managers in check, have long gone IME 🙁

    I’ve just found out that the co. rules say: when you have had more than one manager in the same year, they have to agree on your rating. And I dont think previous manager was consulted.

    Beautiful!

    If I was you I’d be doing every trick in the book to try and discreetly get that in writing before kicking off with the formal grievance procedure. you do everything by the book, them not playing by their own rules!

    Have seen it a couple of times where launching a grievance procedure has resulted in recriminations, but in the end thats only strengthened the case when its gone the next step (ie. makes for a strong hand in exit settlement to avoid a tribunal)

    codybrennan
    Member

    Not trolling here, genuine question of anyone working in HR.

    What’s the remit in a dispute between a manager and an employee? Can decisions go either way? Is it all governed by the individual company’s policy? How much does law have a bearing on what you decide to do?

    codybrennan
    Member

    It has crossed my mind that I’m absolutely cr*p and all of this is just me. But the place is a shambles, and the ‘carry on without a manager in this new role, with these multi-million pound deals’ epitomises things.

    My mistake was to carry on and see if I could get by- the guy they took on at the same time as me walked in May last year, warning me they would land me in it.

    chewkw
    Member

    Don’t believe in HR as they are on the side of management.

    Basically, their role is just a support role within a company especially to help the company to comply with the employment law. Comply with the law to exploit the employees.

    Sort the employees because they are not there for the employees. Employees to HR are just a pain in the backside.

    🙄

    dannyh
    Member

    Yes, unfortunately the cynical-sounding answers above are correct. HR are there to protect the company from issues. Be they just disruption due to high turnover of staff, or a generally crap atmosphere, right up to tribunals and the like. No one ever got anywhere in HR as a result of championing employees for ethical reasons.

    The law is what stops employers shitting on employees, not HR.

    HR will always do managements bidding, but in such a way that they do not leave the company open to legal action. More often than not they will seek to due the bare minimum to keep within the law.

    More progressive companies will have a culture where they actually value good employees and want to keep them ‘happy’, but always remember that this is still with the interests of the company front-centre.

    In my experience you need to be sure of your ground with HR, quite often they will respect you more if you show that you are reasonable with them and make it clear you expect them to be reasonable with you.

    And never forget that NOTHING is off the record when it comes to HR. Don’t trust them with anything that you wouldn’t want to be in the wider domain.

    codybrennan
    Member

    Thanks all- very useful.

    I had hoped that an HR person might have popped up to offer an opinion- knowing STW, there must be one or two, at least. The cynic in me says that the silence from the HR contingent is damning 🙂

    DrJ
    Member

    Clue is in the name – Resources, just like iron ore or spare parts, there to be used. Fact that it is a resource with 2 legs and a head is just a minor complication that you don’t have to consider once you’ve turned it all into a spreadsheet.

    Premier Icon taffy
    Subscriber

    HR are there to make sure management don’t do something stupid and leave thew company liable and open to employment law abuse/problems.

    Having beeen “HR’d” out twice in my life generally HR will go with the manager everytime – as usualy the manager get them “involved” first. If it is as you say it is then getting hold of the Employee handbook your contract , induction paperwork and the associated paperwork is youyr starting point. If yo ahve those and it states that a review has to be agreed upon if you ahve ahd mnore than one manager then you cna sort this (it would help if you check throughly with HR before making nay over noises).

    My second outing in the HR two step was with a particulaly dilbert esqu manager who when ther anual employee review came around sat us all down and went through the procedure to formalize her score and so forth as the previous year sh had had soem less than 100% scores (ratyher than address any management issues or excessive workloads or so forth!) needless to say her scores from me were corespondingly honest and low (i rember her looking shocked when i asked if i could work form home 1 day a week to help look after my disabled daughter to which i got “i can’t let you work from home.. the others in the team will wnat to do that then…” err your problem not mine and… Incorect answer!)

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I had a head of HR threaten me with the sack unless I agreed to sign a fabricated story about our Head of Sales as they wanted an excuse to sack him (as the CEO wanted him out). I refused and luckily kept my job. Tells you all you know about HR, just there to do (or clean up) the company’s dirty work.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    Yes they do?

    They also have performance targets. E.G. Making sure a certain percentage of employees are marked as under performing so they can be denied bonuses and pay rises.

    Don’t trust them as far as you can throw the oxygen thieving skin wasting bitches.

    dannyh
    Member

    I had a head of HR threaten me with the sack unless I agreed to sign a fabricated story about our Head of Sales as they wanted an excuse to sack him (as the CEO wanted him out). I refused and luckily kept my job. Tells you all you know about HR, just there to do (or clean up) the company’s dirty work.

    Just goes to show how careful you need to be with HR. That wouldn’t have happened if the employee had taken a third person into the ‘meeting’, but who always insists on that, especially if it is a “oh, have you got a minute?” kind of approach.

    I had an HR professional break a confidence. I said something in response to a direct question about my boss in a supposedly confidential chat. I found out later that the reason my boss had been frosty with me for several months was that said HR woman had immediately told my boss what I said.

    The funniest thing about the whole situation was that I was trying to be honest about the fact that my then boss had taken on far too much work in a bid to try to secure a better paid position. I thought it was detrimental to her and our team, but only said so when asked directly about it. Turns out the silly bitch (manager) had mortagaged herself to the hilt and her and hubby were desperately trying to cling to some kind of local ‘Hello magazine’ lifestyle and so were desperate for her to have a pay increase!

    Strange how people change when money and status are at stake.

    project
    Member

    who pays for HR the boss, who makes the rules, the boss, who has ultimate say on who gets sacked, the boss.

    Hr is just a dept made to keep the boss happy or they will be sacked.

    Easy.

    Premier Icon tom200
    Subscriber

    Their purpose is simply to reduce the companies exposure to financial risk when dealing with employees. That’s it.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    DrJ – Member

    Clue is in the name – Resources, just like iron ore or spare parts, there to be used. Fact that it is a resource with 2 legs and a head is just a minor complication that you don’t have to consider once you’ve turned it all into a spreadsheet.

    This + 1000

    As others have said years ago it was ‘personnel’ but that was too caring.
    We have also noticed how the department has now become entirely run by hard nosed career bitches!
    Our previous personnel department was run by a good mixture of experienced people who operated in a quiet calm manner & as a result our staff turnover was below 1% & people had a sense of loyalty.
    Since then the corporate drones have taken over & as a result staff turnover has increased tenfold & most of us have a cynical view of the company and its direction!

    old donald
    Member

    I am a bloke – been in HR over 20 years with big companies – I have done my stint of hire a fire – however in my experience that never made a company successful. Growing employee skills does make companies more successful eg helping apprentices become great engineers…

    Companies pay all employees wages not just HR’s.

    All female profession now though – that cant be good for any profession.

    dannyh
    Member

    Again it depends a lot on the company and its culture. Many large employers in non-London areas can afford to not give a toss about staff turnover as there’s always someone else wanting to work for them. Others do value their employees more.

    My point is that you should always remember who they work for, and it ain’t you!

    tinybits
    Member

    an awful lot of very jaded views on here.

    HR is needed due to the unbelievable claims society we have become. People pulling constant sickies, not doing work and achieving piss poor standards with the constant wine of ‘you’re bullying me’ if anything is said and claiming unfair dismissal on the grounds of race, sex, disability, unfair treatment, time of the month etc. It’s developed in a ‘protection’ service out of requirement..

    By the time you’re in a meeting room with HR and your manager, believe me they will have talked it through at great length, and already decided that you probably deserve to be in there, irrespective of any feelings that you have to the contrary. As such, you’ll often only see HR siding with the company. For each time you get into one of these scrapes, there will be 3 discussions where HR sided with you and you didn’t even know.

    However, the real role of HR in a good company (I’ll define good here as say, a times top 100 company) is to involve, help motivate, encourage engagement, talent spot, train, facilitate appraisals and help guide most companies best assets (its staff) to give their best.

    Of course, those who don’t see that side of HR are often those who end up in the meeting room. Of course, it’s never the persons fault, it’s the company that’s being unreasonable.

    For the record, I’m not HR, on the bastard sat next to them giving you the shoeing. I am however, in between writing this, helping write an HR strategy for my wife who just so happens to head an HR department of a company that has just got Times top 100 status. OP, she thinks that’s completely unreasonable and if you’re in a decent company, the HR department should take a real interest in your situation.

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    Join a Union. They’ll work for you, HR works for the Organisation. If you don’t join a Union, then you’ve swallowed the newspapers’ lies and will get crushed.

    dannyh
    Member

    For the record I’ve also been totally stitched up by an HR department when I was the manager with a ‘difficult’ employee.

    There was an incident with inappropriate emails with this young lad, who was essentially ok, but just a bit cocky and easily led. He was well within his probationary period (two months in at most). In one of the emails he had been quite personal about me. I wasn’t massively worried about it from a personal point of view, so I thought the best approach would be to get him and my assistant manager in a room and make him squirm a bit before asking him outright if he actually wanted to be there. A sort of slap on the wrist with no further action. Hopefully something he might learn from.

    Anyhow, i thought it was all dealt with (I had been allowed laissez faire in dealing with it – or so I thought). My manager then took me aside and basically told me to get rid of him and to involve HR in doing it. I said as far as I was concerned it was dealt with. Anyhow HR banged the drum, said lots of stuff like “he’s still on probation period, so it won’t be onerous” and “we will do the difficult stuff” etc. So, at this point I am basically being told to get rid of someone who I actually thought wasn’t too bad. Oh well, at least HR will take care of most of it.

    But, of course, no. A couple of days later I was told that I would basically have to performance manage him out, increasing my workload, and reducing my ability to be a ‘normal’ manager as I was pretty much managing him hour to hour.

    I said to HR that I never actually wanted to get rid of him, and that as it was their idea and he was still on probation, then surely they could just say “we don’t like you, you are gone” and have done with it. But no, the big talk evaporated and I was left to deal with a situation that never should have happened. Luckily the lad saw that the writing was on the wall and left anyway. In his exit interview I just felt embarrassed, and so did he.

    HR were worse than useless, again.

    dannyh
    Member

    Just thought, though, they achieved a headcount reduction by proxy in that situation. So, of course, it was a ‘win’ for them.

    tinybits
    Member

    Surely that shows an individual who’s shit at their job, not a profession?

    I’m sure we’ve all got our stories with a particular job type, how about we go for estate agent, lawyer, doctor or policeman?

    I’d have thought as a good manager that you would have stood up to the HR department and your knowledge of employment law, as opposed saying yes sir, no ma’am?

    I think Flap_jack really underlines the need for HR…. Unions have been around a LOT longer than HR departments!

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    You’ve been offered no support in the last year, if your performance was bad the should address it before you PR If they haven’t it can’t be taken into account.

    codybrennan
    Member

    Thanks all. Some interesting opinions and experiences here.

    Tinybits- this is one of the UK’s biggest companies, and it has a strange (and new) attitude to performance rating. PIGEX? Apparently, if you’re in a team of, say, 10 people, the rules say that there must be a ‘bell curve’ of attainment applied across that whole group of people. So, even if they were all exceptional talent, the least-exceptional gets the lowest rating. Its just come in across the board and is, I understand, causing mayhem and widespread dissatisfaction.

    I wouldn’t mind too much, generally, and I take your point about HR helping to weed out the dross where possible (although many here seem to have had a rough old shoeing from them, unfairly) but I’m one of these ‘take no sick days, help a brother out’ kind of workers, and its unfortunately done me no favours. But I think your missus is right- in the situation (no manager, no training, no oversight) I was destined to fail. I’m just worried that if I kick up a stink, they’ll find more aggressive ways to get rid of me.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    the clue is in the name

    human resources- you are a resource for the company

    ime they can be good on a one to one level, helping to diffuse difficult situations, however if the shit hits the fan they will side with the people that pay their wages

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    old donald – Member

    I am a bloke – been in HR over 20 years with big companies – I have done my stint of hire a fire – however in my experience that never made a company successful. Growing employee skills does make companies more successful eg helping apprentices become great engineers…

    Companies pay all employees wages not just HR’s.

    All female profession now though – that cant be good for any profession.

    You sound like one of the good guys.

    tinybits
    I’m sure that might be true of some firms but we had a short term absence rate of less than 0.1% in a workforce of over 10,000 & sickness was almost unheard of. Since the HR Harpies hove into view its shot up as people don’t just feel they are a number they know it. I’m i175911

    Premier Icon unknown
    Subscriber

    They also have performance targets. E.G. Making sure a certain percentage of employees are marked as under performing so they can be denied bonuses and pay rises.

    This is utter garbage. The STW position seems entrenched but no, HR are not just there to do “the management’s” bidding. For example the big focus of my role right now is teaching our managers how to manage, and ensuring that our staff are treated fairly and consistently. We do have targets, like reducing sick days for example, because fewer people off with stress generally means a happier, more productive workplace.

    fin25
    Member

    I work for the local council, who have just put us through an organisational review. As part of the review, I was nominated by my colleagues as a representative in the consultation process.
    On four separate occasions, the HR manager for our department got her facts completely wrong regarding simple points of employment legislation and contractual details. This would have been funny if management hadn’t followed her down the rabbit hole.
    I am now in a situation where, after the end of the consultation, the implementation of the business case was, according to my line manager, due to roll out in July. As part of my existing contract, I received an incremental pay rise in April and carried out my duties as before.
    Then, on the day before payday in May, all staff received a letter via email (dated 22nd May) informing us that we had been assimilated into our new roles on 1st April, thus wiping out and deducting from May’s pay my incremental pay rise from April onwards.
    So, for the last two months I have been working to a job description and contract that no longer exists, taking on far more responsibilities than my new, post review job description requires of me, all without my knowledge or consent.

    HR is like an axe, bloody useful, but bloody terrifying when wielded by maniacs…

    rabyoung
    Member

    Ah! Codybrennan, I think I know who you work for. That description of the bell curve….rings a bell with me. I am saying no more as you never know who’s monitoring the Interweb. You have my sympathy.

    dannyh
    Member

    I guess you can characterise my view as ‘jaded’, but this only as a result of experience.

    FWIW at my current place the HR department are pretty good. They have managed some major changes quite well IMO and seem to direct their energies at genuinely poor performance etc where it occurs.

    For the record I am pretty certain that I average less than 0.5 days sick per year, work longer hours than most of my colleagues and have a conscientious attitude to my work. I appreciate that some employees take the piss, and that the law is weighted too much towards employees who work to rule and only work under direct supervision. The type of person who has plenty of energy left over to fight their corner at every opportunity and have HR shitting themselves about trying to get rid of them.

    My experiences of HR departments in large companies are largely negative and I have never been on the ‘wrong end’ of an HR interview as a result of my own performance or behaviour. That is just how it has been in my experience, so I am jaded, yes, but I distinctly remember starting my working life as a wide eyed little twerp with no preconceptions and a quite idealistic outlook. Experience has turned me into a far more guarded and cynical person in work. Sad but true, and my experiences of HR at previous employers have been a big factor in my ‘growing up’ or ‘becoming a cynic’ – whichever you prefer.

    Tijuana Taxi
    Member

    Thoroughly enjoyed my run ins with managers and HR people over the years.

    Most were so busy that they made fundamental mistakes in procedure and when the evidence was presented had to concede defeat.

    Such incompetence that I did seriously consider offering my services as an independent paid advisor to anyone embroiled in these disputes.

    Document everything using email, make sure the read receipt function is enabled and always take a friend to interviews. Can be worth recording them too, such a shock when you can produce evidence of what was actually said.

    Use their own rules and incompetence against them, for example write a really long email and slip something to your advantage in the middle. Most times they are never read properly and surprising what you can get agreement on with this method

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @cody – I’m 50+, been around a bit, seen a lot of stuff. I mention this as it’s best to just breath a little and try and see tis objectively.

    Take your emotion out of it right now, did you like the job before this episode, where your ratings good ? I am guessing the answer to these is yes and yes.

    See this as a bump in the road, the temporary manager probably had a tough time too and is taking it out on you. They are clearly not much of a manager if all they have focused on is negative stuff.

    Raise the concerns with HR, not been managed, very stressful, no support, no guidance, you’ve done your best in the circumstances. I would see what they say and I would also try and seek out either some managers are a similar level to yours or someone more senior and have a conversation with them (but do not make it a ranting list of complaints, just out line your frustrations and they you’ve done the best you can and want to move forwards with the company)

    As others have posted HR would rarely side with employee against management in a dispute, they may agree with you however and may put your case forward but they are not going to fight for you. It’s not their job.

    Finally as for ratings, yes I agree totally there should be a distribution. I don’t buy the argument that everyone in a team is excellent, there has to be differentiation even if you think of it as excellent+, excellent and excellent-

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    peteimpreza – member
    Don’t trust them as far as you can throw the oxygen thieving skin wasting bitches

    My OH’s in HR.

    And BTW, you’re a **** mate.

    Sancho
    Member

    I had a run in with management when I worked at SAP UK, I ended up loving the meeting with my manager (tool) and HR (waste of space)
    having read up on employment law on google, I could run rings round them. was good fun, all issues with me got dropped lol.

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