It is human nature to judge everything they come in contact with. Humans make simplified perceptions of reality based on their observations or what they might hear from somebody. Similarly, there are some stereotypes attached to every profession – be it a field of a doctor, nurse, civil servant, or software engineer, to name a few. HR is no exception. Many negative connotations are attached to the role of HR in a company. It might be due to people’s limited exposure to this profession. Sometimes, these perceptions make the relationship between HR and employees weak. Here are some critical questions that need to be asked to understand the stereotypes regarding HR.
- Why do these perceptions exist in a company?
- What are some significant stereotypes attached to this profession, and how can they affect HR’s performance and relations with employees?
- Why is it important to debunk these myths, and how can HR play a role in avoiding them?
This blog aims to address these questions by providing a nuanced analysis of the significance of the role of HR in a company.
Common stereotypes and the reasons behind them
Suppose we survey five different companies and their departments to gain an insight into employees’ perceptions about the role of HR. We would get multiple different perceptions and generalizations based on their personal experiences. Here are some of the common stereotypes, including:
HR only serves the company’s best interest!
Employees often make an “us vs. them” binary which stems from the fact that HR is responsible for protecting the organization from getting into legal trouble and employees from unhealthy and unsafe experiences. However, it gets tricky when employees question the stand taken by a company in the process.
Now there comes a problem when a decision is to be made. In a scenario like this, HR’s main priority is protecting the company, which makes sense because, without an organization, there will be no employees.
HR is technologically challenged!
One of the most recurring stereotypes is the lack of knowledge of technology in the HR department. There is a misconception that HRs are not technologically equipped and enter the field without having a specific degree.
To understand why these stereotypes exist, it is essential to notice how individual HR departments operate. It can be because of requiring hard copies of every document, using old systems, etc.
Technology will eventually replace HR!
Another misconception suggests that technology, including HR automation software, will replace HR. In reality, this is not the case. HRMS has no doubt revolutionized this field by automating the system. But this will only allow HR to allocate their time to devising strategies and getting closely involved in the decision-making policies.
HR doesn’t give heed to the concerns of the employees!
This stereotype emerges when the complaints of employees aren’t appropriately addressed. This happens for multiple reasons, including a lack of enough staff to handle the complaint, and sometimes the issues of the employees don’t fall under the domain of the HR department.
HR activities are only restricted to firing and doing administrative tasks!
As people have limited knowledge about the scope of HR, there is a common stereotype that HR work only involves paperwork, documentation, and ensuring that policies and procedures are implemented. Employees come in contact with HR when they are about to get fired.
However, the role of HR is so broad and significant. Without HR’s strategic decisions, the company won’t be able to reach its maximum potential and goals.
Impacts of these stereotypes
It is not only significant to address these stereotypes, but it is equally essential to dismiss them and present a way to avoid the formation of these perceptions in a company because these stereotypes can demotivate HR from pursuing their full potential.
Also, if stereotypes like these exist in a company, a good relationship between employees and HR cannot get established. Therefore, HR will be unable to resolve the problems the employees face as there will be a lack of trust between them.
These negative connotations attached to this profession restrict many talented people from entering this field. So, these issues must be addressed and avoided.
Ways to avoid these stereotypes and myths
Collaboration and communication are key:
- Connect regularly by conducting healthy one-to-one interaction sessions with employees to create a strong relationship.
- Explain reasons to employees so that they can understand the context behind your context.
- Make sure that employees throughout the conflict resolution process get represented equally.
- Conduct surveys by managers and their reports to identify the significant impact areas.
- Get honest feedback to build a healthy environment where employees get assurance that their issues are being addressed.
- HR representatives work with each team to get a whole idea of their work.
- Being a little flexible with employees to improve relationships with the employees.
- Impartiality to strike the right balance between representing the company and employees will go a long way.
Upgrading the skills
- With the world changing quickly, like any other profession, HRs need to upgrade their data literacy, strategic management, and leadership skills.
Role of HR in increasing productivity
- Use data to define how HRs improve retention and employee engagement for increased productivity.
Use the right tools
The most important thing is to realize to employees that HR are the ones that help in achieving the company’s goals. For this using the right Human Resource Management Software is critical. An automated HRMS helps in:
- Sending necessary documentation before the joining of the employees.
- Keeping all the records of the employees in the system to avoid any obscurity in case of any conflict.
- Make the employees monitor their schedule and performance.
This blog shed light on some of the stereotypes around HR, where they stem from, and what they can do to avoid them. Of course, it is impossible to avoid them altogether. But HR can strike the right balance in representing the company and being a voice for the employees by using the right tools, building trust and strong relationships through proper communication and collaboration, and constantly upgrading their skills.