Human resources must balance claims of workers, bosses

Q. Shortly after joining this company, I became aware of numerous issues related to discrimination and harassment. As a human resources professional, I felt obligated to make management aware of these problems, so I reported them to my boss, who is the director of HR, and to several department heads.

My superiors were willing to investigate some situations, but seemed reluctant to address concerns that might involve executives. I was encouraged to overlook these matters and was advised that pursuing them could damage peoples careers.

Because I believe it is my duty to report violations of state and federal law, I went around my management chain and contacted our ethics department. Since no one else was willing to file a grievance about these issues, I reported them myself. Now I have received a very negative performance review. What should I do?

A. There are two possible interpretations here. The first is that you have joined a company where questionable behaviors are tolerated and perhaps even practiced by senior management. As a result, you have learned the hard way that the values of top executives always influence employee-related decisions.

For that reason, a key component of job satisfaction for HR professionals is compatibility between their values and those of the people above them. If you are experiencing an ethical mismatch, the solution is to find an employer whose standards are similar to your own.

On the other hand, you may be crusading against problems which may not exist. While some legal issues are clear-cut, others are a matter of perception, so be sure that personal biases dont cloud your judgment.

The very best HR people serve as both management representatives and employee advocates. But when either role has an exclusive focus, problems inevitably result. So if you consistently find yourself on the employee side of every issue, you may need to examine your own motivations.

Q. Our new secretary, Jackie, is driving me crazy. Although I initially trained her, I am not Jackies supervisor. Nevertheless, she often interrupts me with questions and asks me to proofread her documents. This has been going on for months. Frankly, Im beginning to wonder if Jackie can handle this job. She makes frequent errors and repeatedly asks the same questions. I often have to remind her about simple, routine tasks. Overseeing Jackies work is interfering with my own, so I would like to know how to end this.

A. Helping a new colleague is commendable, but enabling incompetence is not. Because your well-meaning assistance is hiding Jackies ineptitude from her boss, its time to stop participating in this cover-up. When Jackie comes with questions, suggest she ask her supervisor. If she requests proofreading, politely explain you are busy. And since remembering her duties is Jackies responsibility, not yours, stop providing friendly reminders. Once she is operating independently, management can determine whether Jackie is a keeper.

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Human resources must balance claims of workers, bosses
human resources – Yahoo! News Search Results
human resources – Yahoo! News Search Results


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