Saturday, April 10, 2010

You! Arrogant HR!

“Your friend is terrific; he doesn’t have the courtesy and doesn’t know how to speak with employees.” I had a new employee who was referring my old friend in HR, working in one automobile industry.

“She never speaks right, deviates the subject and very arrogant. Her nature is threatening.” Another person was telling his impression about his earlier HR colleague.

There are certain HR professionals who give the bad impression about the profession. Why HR professionals fail to earn respect? Somebody may say that the HR profession is thankless. We are perceived differently by the employees. Employees take convenient stand. If something goes against the employee, he will curse the HR. At one side, we have to enforce the policies, rules and regulations, at another side we are expected to be good with employees, how it is possible?

Valid reason. But still, as the HR professional I am not convinced.

People misinterpret aggressiveness for assertiveness. Every professional should be assertive & not necessary aggressive. Some people say that in sales you need to be aggressive. Imagine if you are aggressive with the customer, will he tolerate you? Customer is the king and as a customer one can not tolerate arrogance. Your assertiveness will help you put your points.

Assertiveness and Aggressiveness are not similar words. You should be assertive and not necessarily aggressive. Aggressive itself defines arrogance; however assertiveness is perquisite for any profession. Most of the times, these two words are considered same.

“Earlier General Manager was replaced because MD thought that he was not enough aggressive.” I heard this statement from senior level employee, “He was good and very through professional.” It happens in owner driven companies. In fact I have seen some HR professionals who are very impolite and arrogant. They behave in such a way that they know everything in the world and they claim that they are the people who manage the show in the organization. God knows what they do?

Most of the times, candidates are the victims of such behaviour. Just check with your HR person who is coordinating recruitment. She doesn’t understand that talent attraction is very difficult, but she can make the mess just because she has the privilege for screening somebody.

“For now, avoid HR like the plague. They are not your friends, and can be your worst enemy, and, most of the time, they are.” I heard this while one senior level marketing professional was telling his friend.

“Most HR professionals are trained only to screen people out. This is fine for a fork-lift driver or clerk. Do they know how to assess a candidate?” this is one of the perceptions among other professionals.

“HR loves to have power. The HR departments in most companies are trying hard to grab more and more power. This department is concerned with the safe, the tried and true, and the stodgy. These are, of course, the very things that keep a company from actually rising above the competition and getting noticed.” One another myth, but mere perception.

“HR is not trained to evaluate executives. HR people are trained to read job descriptions, not people. Their track record for selecting the right people is not likely to be very stellar. They can choose people who, on paper, are qualified, but not necessarily the best person for the job. They also don’t understand the duties of executive level personnel, nor technical personnel”. I heard this during networking session in one conference. This can be true because he must have shared his own experience. HR likes to obstruct and take lots of time.

Somebody may say that this all is applicable to all professionals in their respective area. Why to blame HR only. I believe that HR has the major role to play. All professionals should be on right track and should not exhibit the traits which I explained.

“Vinod, Every line manager is a HR manager now a day; hence HR should play the role of godfather.” Mr. Sharad Phadake, the then GM, Igatpuri plant of M&M advised me.

“We, HR professionals are from different school of thoughts. They claim that they have the expertise in People Management and hence it is their responsibility (and also accountability) to exhibits the same in day to day interactions. HR should play the role of coach, mentor to these professionals.

The competencies like interpersonal skills, communication skills, team skills, change management is not only for other professional. HR also needs this. Values like respect for people, Empathy, credibility, customer orientation are necessary for every employee, and every include HR also.

And believe me; it is possible to earn the respect for HR. In spite of different paradoxes, you can earn the respect provided you are open to change; you are open to new ideas.


Anonymous said...

Good article....I liked your thought.

Anonymous said...

we need to work with an organisation for atleast five years as a minimum then take this disucssion further to make a change. Unless Hr professionals do that we will have the same.

Unknown said...

Nice one. Straight from your heart (as usual) :) !!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Vinod,

HR professional may not like your stregth thought. They may be offended, but it is the reality. Your articles are always good and I like your style. Keep it up.

Dr. Anand Bhalla

Anonymous said...

I am HR professional and unfortunately I agree with Vinod.

We need to change.

Anonymous said...

Even I am HR professional and I am the victim of arrogancy and politics of another HR professional.

Dhruva Trivedy said...

Vinod...How very true!! I heard this at the GMR airport Delhi.
One employee talking to another and the third one intercepts.
Employee 1 to Employee 2: You are a fool. Why don't you express yourself to your boss? Have a straight talk with him.
Employee 2 to Employee 1: Arey yaar! He's not the kind! He would further get infuriated.
Employee 3 intercepts: Did you have a word with HR?
Employee 1 to Employee 3: Are you mad? As it is they can't do their routine tasks, how would they empathise with us?
This is impression HR functionaries have created about themselves...stuck-ups!!

srinivas said...

Hi Vinod,

You have noticed good points and brooded well. But you need to notice one more thing is that HR people first show their aggressiveness and robust assertiveness on other HR most of the times, to show his knowledge forcefully to other and to feel better than other.

Coming to the interview sessions HR person posses many to the candidate, who came for the post of HR and always tries not to face competence.

However nice blg.

Unknown said...

Hi Vinod,

vry true..but what if you join a new company and the person who recruits you is leaving. So u have new HR person at a very senior level joining the same time as you and treats you in a very inappropraite way, within same team - HR

Unknown said...

Hey Vinod..... gud to see people putting up articles. I have been a HR for the past 5 yrs. Ive moved 4 jobs already and beleive it or not I still get calls from all my previous company to join them back. Not only from the HR dept, but even from the operations team. It is how each individual conducts himself.

Though i have left the companies, I still get the same respect and MORE love from the employees and am treated and greeted with so much of warmth. (i still get special discounts for my purchases...)

It is how each one is groomed. If you want to show urself as a arragont person, en God cant help.


Unknown said...

And in my present company, anybody wants to discuss any matter - be it personl / official they share it with me

HR's can also be like this.....

harish2311 said...

Well said Vinod, I totally agree with you.

Regards, Harish

Kartheka said...

Hi Vinod

Good article, very true too...


Kartheka R

Unknown said...

Hi Vinod,

You are true and I do agree with u upto some extend,not all HR have the same impression that they show their attitude and arrogance.As Danson said even in my present and previous Company if employees have any prob they will first approach HR,thats the way how HR should be supportive to employees.

As HR people will carry the brand and reputation of company they should be polite and perceivable.

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