When problems arise between people in a company, the human resources department works to solve them. As a result, many employees believe HR exists for their benefit, but that’s not always true. Before you approach HR about a problem, you ought to know their purpose and where their loyalties lie.
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Alison Green, writing for US News, explains that human resources works in the best interest of the company, and that doesn’t always coincide with what’s best for you:
The human resources department’s function is to serve the needs of the business; its loyalty and responsibilities are to the company. Now, in some cases, that means advocate for employees against bad managers, because it’s in the best interests of employers to retain great employees, identify and address bad management and stop legal problems before they explode. But plenty of other times, what’s best for the employer will not be what’s best for the employee, and the best interests of the employer will always win out. That’s not cynicism; that’s simply what HR’s mission is.
On top of that, you shouldn’t expect HR to keep anything confidential, even if you ask. They can and will keep secrets or share information as they see fit. All of these things can work to your benefit or against it depending on your needs, the needs of the company and the quality of your human resources department. Before you jump into a new job, you should make an effort to understand how the department operates. You don’t want to make a request and find out it hurts your position at the company.
5 Secrets You Should Know About HR [US News]