I have often said that being a front line supervisor is the most difficult job in today’s workplace. I think that is still true for a specific position. But if there is a department that is fraught with peril, it has to be the Human Resources group.
This came to mind because of a great article by Alison Green, 5 Secrets You Should Know About HR.
The points Green makes, that HR knows things they can’t tell you, that their job is to support the managers of the company not employees, to list just two, are true, but point up one of the problems for HR in the modern world.
Too often, the constituency that they are asked to serve is not made clear, or at least not explicitly so. Is HR an employee advocate, looking out for the interests of the employees? Maybe, and clearly that has a role, but in reality, the responsibility is more often in support of management, although that support often comes in the form of being the compliance policeman.
This topic certainly deserves a lot more attention than this brief post. Until this issue is resolved at any particular company, HR will forever be sentenced to a very unhappy existence.