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Reasons Why Employees Hate HR and Practices to Re-energize Employees

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Disha Suresh
January 15, 2021

Do you recall your workplace and its employees being satisfied with the HR department?

In most cases, the answer would be a big NO!

Be it a large-sized organization or small businesses, the perception for Human Resources remains the same.

As a company, it's always wise to create a business strategy which aligns with the goals of your employees.  

Ever wondered how HR creates this impression about themselves?

Is it their inability to meet the expectations of a given task?

Or their lack of understanding and support towards all employees?

Or their ability to ensure employees are not denied their time-off requests?

No matter the actual reason, employees are unhappy with Human Resources.

Employees are in one way business partners of your organization and in a way act as your strategic business partners.

It is ironic as the Human Resource department is responsible for people management, employee engagement, and driving true performance. Contrary to the name Human Resources, the department lacks the 'human' element on the job and often leaves employees longing for a new change.

A workplace is driven by productivity and by happy employees who put their best foot forward to yield job satisfaction.

In return, they expect timely performance evaluations and effective tools that can ensure they produce quality work.

These employees are often left clueless and desperately want to quit due to the HRMS's inefficiencies.

These practices impact your executives as well as your firm's potential growth opportunities too.

A survey by an independent body in the United States found that 1 out of 3 individuals want to leave their job or switch to better opportunities because of the HR's inability to perform.

These metrics are concerning. Every employee has immense potential that often goes unnoticed by the Human Resources department.  

So, if you're a part of human resource management, We have some insightful tips that can lead your organization to develop into an employee-friendly organization.

But before get into tips, let's under the reasons why employees hate HR

Let us dive deeper into understanding this resentment towards HR and how they can improve and change this perception.

1. HR works for the business and its management

Human Resources works for the welfare of its employees and the organization in general, right?

We would like to believe this. However, reality differs!

Several large organizations and SMEs have witnessed the department resorting to unfair management practices that do not benefit employees. While we understand that the interest of the employers is essential, we cannot ignore employee grievances.

HR's must realise the importance of talent management as employees are also putting in equal amounts of hard work and efforts into the work assigned. One wouldn't expect to receive ill-treatment from HR.

If this practice goes unnoticed, the employees will likely lose their drive to achieve goals and improve their performance.

We believe this short-sighted vision by HR only sets the organization back.  Promoting this one-sided company culture is not going to benefit the employer or the employee.

2. HR is too policy-driven in its approach

A common complaint heard from employees is that HR is too policy-driven. It is understandably challenging to take a stance between employees or management.

However, HR is driven to keep up their well-balanced jobs and receive better paychecks year after year; hence they swear by their policies. These plans work against employees and their peers.

While policies are meant to be followed, certain scenarios call for an exception. An HR's failure to recognize and make amends is unacceptable.

After all, a healthy review of your policies won't hamper the firm's growth.

We see them play the policy card by pulling out various excuses to side the management and completely ignore the employee's concerns. This move fails to bring them any respect, and in turn, hampers the business's reputation.

3. HR fails to be objective and fair in its approach

A popular opinion among employees is that HR managers see everything in one dimension. They fail to see situations practically, which hampers their judgment.

These attitudes and judgments can potentially ruin an employee's career path. But, HR prefers biased human capital management and poor communication, leaving the employee with no other alternative.

Their failure to acknowledge the employee's point of view and empathize with their situation often leads to increased employee frustration.

Most of these cases end up being a "She said, he said" scenario with no light at the end of the tunnel.

4. HR is incompetent

HR executives often get a bad reputation for being incompetent.  HR's in a way are strategic business partners as it is their responsibility that employees have a healthy work environment

In several cases, when employees approach the HR Manager, they generally over complicate or confuse them.  This increases distrust and tarnishes the image of the HR department.

Moreover, they find them untrained and inexperienced in managing complicated situations. In such scenarios, employees question these hires and wonder what their responsibilities are.

Their lack of expertise and incapability of using specialized tools affects employee morale and performance.

Several individuals receive well-written emails that ignore the crux of the issue or are redirected to someone else, leading to employee burnout.

5. HR is dishonest

Doesn't it sound strange that HR managers would be dishonest at their workplace or its employees?

As a matter of fact, most employees have found that HR is well-known to twist and bring their own interpretation stories when asked. It can be bothersome when employees find themselves in a fix when fighting the management for the truth.

An unruly side of HR shows the incapability of the management and how much it values employees.

6. HR department indulges in office politics

Office politics can deter an employee's morale and growth potential as it plays with their mind.

Instead of channelizing their energy into producing ideas and driving performance goals, they find themselves lost in these meaningless conversations.

We are sure that most of us have experienced this in our workplace. They are often the root cause of stagnant growth and discouraged employees.

It is the HR Manager's responsibility to clear this air so employees can direct themselves to better opportunities.

Instead of creating an encouraging and positive environment of growth, HR has been known to encourage this negative environment, leading to toxic and adverse workplace discussions.

7. HR lacks a relationship with employees

Everyone reading this may recall their interaction with HR while working was restricted to their talent management and onboarding as new candidates, salary concerns, or resignation.

An employee spends nearly 10 hours of his day working for an organization and looks forward to building healthy relationships with his/her colleagues.

However, limited engagement and lack of listening create a drift in the workplace, even in SMEs. It is difficult for HR managers to bridge the gap and elevate the team's spirit.

In most workplaces, the HR works in a separate corner, away from all the office hustle. It keeps them away from important moments of engagement with colleagues.

Always remember: The attitude projected by the HR sets the tone for the workplace too!

8. HR fails to address real problems

Have you ever felt that the Human Resource Management picks on petty issues rather than actually solving real ones?

They are poor performers when faced with problems.

Moreover, they are more worried about dress codes, ID cards of employees, or any other trivial issue rather than enhancing employee morale, performance reviews, or getting the company's right hires.

Their ignorance of such pressing issues such as work-life balance and career development makes employees despise them even more.

9. HR fails to treat human resources as humans

If you google HR, I am sure your first few pages would explain how it includes building a relationship with humans. However, that bit goes unnoticed.

More often than not, HR has taken the name too literally as they ensure to squeeze every last bit of their employees.

They think of the employees as any other organization resource they need to utilize until the last breath. However, this inhumane attitude hardly gets them anymore.

We see employees hitting burnout faster than usual and getting dissatisfied with their jobs. Their lack of motivation to continue further affects the turnover at the workplace.

Moreover, HR fails to plan annual reviews of employee performance and provide them with peer feedback and growth opportunities.

Rather than being employee-centric and building strong networks, HR often categorizes employees according to their performance while burdening them to follow protocols and rules.

What are HR Best practices to Re-energize Employees in 2021

Best HR practices to Re-energize Employees in 2021

We understand that HR is a job role that is extremely difficult to pull off and is most certainly not everyone's cup of tea.

However, recognizing the system's drawbacks and making amends is a good HR manager's quality. It is in their hands to offer all folks fair plans targeted towards a shared goal, and employees motivated enough to pursue them.

Here are a few tips that the HR department can work on to re-energize their employees, colleagues, and top management positions such as CEOs and Vice Presidents to ensure they emerge as strong performers for your firm.  These management skills can help the department gain back the respect of employees and lead to employee development.

1. Set agendas

HR needs to identify the issues that are concerning and come up with ideas to tackle them. Small businesses can also use it as setting the agendas considering the circumstances, and the extent of trouble caused to a co-worker by HR can be an excellent way to start to rebuild the trust.

How can you go about it?

The first thing HR should do is plan what all issues are concerning and identify current practices within the corporation. Once this is identified, HR can prioritize the issues and create a detailed action plan for executing the tasks at hand. This includes setting short term and long term goals.

2. Communicate

Most SMEs or MNCs agree that Human Resource works in its own best interest and not the company's co-workers.  

To change this perception, the HR department can be proactive and communicate with its employees about the possible issues and the steps taken to rectify those.

This would change the employees' perception of HR's attitude and boost their morale.

A healthy and open communication practice ensures both lies on the same page and is driven to target similar plans.

Moreover, this will build the comfort needed by employees when they want to approach the HR department. This will bridge the gap of discomfort for both.

3. Ease your business

Don't you think HR work involves far too many papers and documentation, leaving most folks uninterested in the process?

Gone are the days when such business decisions worked for any firm.

With the increasing number of HR software accessible to every company, many HR Managers have adopted software to increase supervision and conduct business efficiently.

While technology differs in every country, the functioning of this software is the same.

HR can use HRMS, websites, or apps that reduce bad management and provide real-time benefits.

HR software can automate all the processes that involve human error. Most competitive HRMS solutions have payroll software, attendance management systems, review management (OKR's) and more tools in one app.

As employees can access the app and view their information, it will free up resources to utilize for other tasks.

Following up with your employees and reviewing their feedback can strengthen HR's performance.

Moreover, this initiative will highlight the capability of the HR team!

Millennials make up 50% of the workforce. It is time for the Human Resources department to make employers and employees happy by adopting the technology.

4. Think about your people

HR has everything to do with Human Resources.

However, haven't their systems, paperwork, and everlasting delays felt inhumane?

With the use of HR Software's and HRMS, HR can connect with their employees better through technology and help reduce any anxiety about their performances with timely updates and improved accessibility with the HR department regarding any queries.

Having to communicate efficiently and respond to the company's employees' needs can help motivate and change the equation they share with their co-workers.  

Although technology can handle this side, one must not ignore the personal touch HR offers. One must keep monthly review sessions with employees to understand their concerns and develop the skills needed to perform the task better.

A recent study showed 80% of workers in the US are content and satisfied with their jobs due to HR's ability to focus and respect all co-workers.  

5. Participate and Educate

HR functions of small businesses can involve their employees in specific decision making and evaluation. This skill is often lost in workplaces as executives and managers feel their teammates wouldn't do justice.

Having employees participate in the HR policies could improve employees' confidence as their issues would be heard and solved.

Similarly, HR can have transparent onboarding processes with new employees to ensure that they are informed at all times. It would help in avoiding any resistance that further during the job.

Companies can also engage in training programs that will improve learning in departmental teams and end help them connect with their employers better.

SMEs and large companies can easily implement this strategy. HR could work with individual employees to deeply understand their concerns and make the workplace more acceptable and efficient.

6. Increase HR's competencies

The CXO's & Directors can choose to improve its HR competencies to ensure that there are no employees left disappointed.

A strong HR can always work better in employees' interests, which could be well received by the board of directors. This way, everyone can focus on larger objectives.

An action can be undertaken through the following methods:

Performance management matrix to keep track of all employees and review their performance appraisals and performance ratings.

• Training and Development of HR and the company's employees and their peers

• External consultant to facilitate any issues and solving them right away;

• Risk and Reward systems based on KPIs (Key performance indicators and performance reviews) to encourage and improve performance

We strongly feel that despite this strong persona that HR has gathered over the last few years, they can work towards being different.

Times are rapidly changing, and we are sure HR is one department that can keep up with it.

All that is needed is to provide employees with support and motivation when needed, so they feel that their opinions and presence matters at the workplace.

This, in turn, will make the workplace a positive environment.

SumHR is a one-stop solution for all your HR needs. If you are looking for HR software or need to know more about anything under the sun about HR, we would highly to give us a try.

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If you have any questions feel free to drop it in the comment section and I will be sure to answer it.

Written by
Disha Suresh
Disha is a content writer at sumHR with over a year of experience in creating website content and copy, long-form articles and user-oriented blogs.
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