I’m not sure who decided years ago that human resources professionals were consultants and that managers and executives get to choose which advice they would listen to depending on their personal agendas. But if I had my way, the third party judges would make certain the human resource professional was questioned on the stand. If the HR professional stated they provided guidance contrary to the final outcome, the judge would make certain the HR professional received one percent of the final settlement agreement. I bet you they would value our advice a little more.
We are supposed to be neutral and act as liaisons between management, unions, the employees, making certain the mission of the company is moved forward. We are the keepers of the rules and regulations. However, at the end of the day, the mission of the company is set by management and we represent management. We provide guidance, explain policies, interpret contracts, and facilitate closure between all parties. Our guidance, good or bad, affects the company’s bottom line. Yet we are often overruled, disavowed, or generally ignored until the stuff hits the fan and suddenly our words are like drops of honey from the sweetest honeycomb.
It’s hard trying to maintain your sanity as a HR professional during these times. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve smacked myself in the head and thought “that’s it, I quit, I can’t do this anymore.” Only a few moments later a supervisor who sought your advice calls to let you know they took your advice, you were right, and they appreciate your help. Those are the crumbs we exist to feed on, and what keeps us in this field. HR isn’t for the faint at heart or those looking for love in the wrong place; you’ve got to have a bigger set of cojones than King Kong to do what we do. If you are looking to be liked, go find a job dealing with children under five. They like everyone.