Reading the above statement, there are two opinions coming up for discussion:-
a) HR developing friendship at work, can give rise to a conflict, if the disciplinary issue is against his own friend.
b) Friendly HR department which is well versed with the culture, knows the pulse of the employees and the management.
What do you think? Should HR be friendly at work place?
What Do People Generally Think of the HR Department?
HR is evil. They have their own way of working. They hire. They Fire. HR people are not emotional. HR doesn’t understand the market. You cannot be friendly with them. HR department work in silos. They are less aligned to the business. They only work for the interest of the management.
With people already having such inhibitions in mind for HR people, it is a difficult task at hand for them to develop healthy and cordial relations with their people. Having said that, can HR become your best friend at work? Yes!! Absolutely. People value and respect if you have your principles in place. You know what is right and what is wrong. You know to say ‘NO‘. Even if you are friendly with your people, you ought to know how to set the expectations in place and everyone must understand that all are working for a cause. In discipline or misconduct cannot be tolerated even if the culprit is a friend. You need to take the right approach at the right time. So again coming back to where we started, does socializing really help in the long-term?
If you ask my frank opinion, I would say the real essence lies in how you bond with your people and the organization. You need to enjoy your work. At the end of the day, it’s all about team work and how you align yourself with people and your ability to work collectively as a single cohesive unit. People come to those who listen, can understand their problem and offer solutions to them. Your bonding with the people will not only instill confidence but will also give strength to them. Keeping in mind that your job takes precedence over friendship and you need to separate them when it comes to performing your duties.
So, if HR department has friends at workplace, how can it benefit everyone:-
a) Stressful people or those under pressure, sometimes look for a shoulder for support. In such a situation the bonding will definitely help in addressing their grievances.
b) HR is responsible for creating a friendly environment. Even in a conflict situation, it’s an HR who helps in solving that situation.
c) Being friendly with people will help an HR to know if anything is going wrong or against the policies of the organization.
d) People tend to open up more when they feel comfortable with someone. Being friends will definitely help in performing our duty well. After all at the end of the day, we are responsible for creating a conducive work environment and a disgruntled workforce will only hamper our performance.
e) HR can become influential while communicating any management decision to the people.
How to PREVENT going overboard?
a) Even if we are friends, we need to keep up a certain level of professionalism. An HR must know how to stay on the edge. Becoming over friendly will be just destructive.
b) In HR, you are part of various internal discussions which are confidential. You should not divulge any critical information even if someone is close to you.
c) Don’t be too emotional with someone as it then becomes difficult to separate work and friendship.
d) You decisions should not be biased if you know someone. Do not let the world see you as playing favourites.
HR department must balance of being friendly and approachable still maintaining professionalism at the same time. None should feel that you are sharing their information here and there. What are your views on the overall discussion or the points mentioned so far.
“What do you think? Does HR friendships work or do not work?”