• Human resources manage employee productivity and welfare
  • For serious issues, HR is paid to protect the company not employees
  • Be smart about when and how you complain to HR on issues
You’ve got a serious problem at work. It could be your asshole boss, the overwhelming amount of work, office jerks, toxic work environments, etc. There are various stressors at work, but it’s getting to the point where you just can’t take it anymore.

Every morning it’s a real fucking struggle to get out of bed and motivate yourself to get dressed and go to work for yet another day of mental and emotional torture. It’s impossible to keep a positive attitude when work life sucks.

With each passing day, it gets harder and harder. There’s not a day that goes by where you feel like quitting your job just so that you don’t have to deal with the bullshit anymore.

There are so many things that you’re having to deal with at work but this one big issue that you’re going through now is really crushing you. You’re currently seeking help and support.

The first thing you do is talk with human resources about it. Confidentially, you explain your situation and how it’s affecting you. They express empathy for your situation, take down notes and assure you that they will help sort things out for you.

Days and weeks go by without any improvement. You’re banging your head against the wall as to why HR isn’t doing its job and helping you.

Isn’t this what HR is supposed to do?

Help employees?

The unfortunate truth is that HR isn’t what you think it is.

The Main Purpose Of Human Resources

Have you ever stopped to think about the main purpose of human resources?

As a worker in an office setting, it pays to understand the truth about what exactly HR does and why it does it. It’s been such a widely accepted profession for so long, and yet many don’t fully understand its true role within organizations.

It’s easy to just assume that their role involves shallow bullshit work like sorting out payroll, managing benefits, administrating health plans and 401ks, etc. but in actuality, HR departments have much heavier responsibilities.

Their main mission is to – wait for it – manage and control a key company resource. And, that key resource is its employees. That’s right, you and everyone else working there is a valuable resource, a “human resource” quite literally.

More specifically, the primary purpose of human resources is to make sure that the organizational machine is well-oiled and operating smoothly. Every single person working at a company is a cog in the machine. This is where the stupid business cliche comes from.

The company wants to make sure that this big machine continues to produce output. Some cogs are bigger and more important than others. Some cogs are smaller and less critical. If there’s a cog that’s worn out, not functioning properly, broken, etc. It needs to be repaired or replaced so that the machine can continue to operate smoothly.

It’s up to HR to do all the important grunt work, keep tabs on all the parts of the machine and ensure that everything is running efficiently. They exist to manage employees as “human resources” for the company. It sounds cold and lab-like, but it’s the hard truth.

Why Human Resources Is Not Your Friend In Serious Situations

In most day-to-day situations, HR is a valued group supporting the welfare of employees. They are there to help employees manage a myriad of administrative tasks and feel good about themselves. These could be things like using sick days for mental health days, making changes to your benefits plan, introducing new kick-ass work perks and developing employee recognition programs.

For these employee activities and programs, HR is a great group of people that go out of their way to make work fun, nurture the joy of productivity and build positive office karma.

It’s all meant to keep you happy and productive at work. And, happy and productive employees do more with less stress. It creates an upward cycle of positive output. The hard working folks in HR want to be happy at work just like everyone else.

However, things are quite different when an employee is in a serious situation. This could be a case of sexual harassment, financial fraud, disclosing trade secrets, on-the-job injuries, etc. And, it’s in these circumstances that HR is not on your side.

Here are the big reasons why HR is not your friend in serious situations.

Human Resources Is There To Protect The Company

When something serious happens at work and shit hits the fan, the HR rainbows and unicorns disappear and things get real - like no more bullshit real. There’s no more happy-go-lucky attitude. It’s all business now.

During serious times, HR is there to protect the company, not you.

Read that sentence again.

You are a “human resource” that HR is trying to manage. They are trying to make sure that you are not going to negatively impact the company, whether it’s financially, operationally or in any other way.

HR’s Allegiance Is With The Company, Not Employees 

If you want to know where allegiance lies with any group of people, you only have to follow the money. And here, it’s quite obvious.

Do you think that your HR rep will risk their job for yours?

Will they risk their livelihood to save yours?

You know the answer.

Human resources are paid by and report to the company, not its employees. As much as people would like to think that HR represents the employees, it simply doesn’t.

For company picnics and employee morale-boosting events, sure, HR is there for employees. However, when there are serious fires to put out, HR is not on the employee’s side. HR is not a labor union representative. HR represents and defends its employer, the company, and not its employees. Never forget that.

The “Open Door” Policy Is A Trap 

You’ve always been told that HR has an “open door” policy so that you can share anything and everything with HR no matter the situation. They want to convey that you can share any concerns with them at any time.

Wanna know why?

It’s because they can’t possibly know what’s going on everywhere in the organization. And, having an “open door” policy allows them to get a real-time feed of serious issues from all parts of the company.

The “open door” policy is essentially an early warning system for HR. It gives them eyes and ears at all levels of the organization. It gives them more information and allows them to make smart decisions.

The moment you bring a grievance to HR, it triggers two things. One, it alerts them of a potential issue with another employee or situation. And two, you become marked as a potential issue for the company. You and/or that other person may be that one cog that might disrupt the machine that HR is trying so hard to keep running smoothly.

Confidentiality Is Bullshit & Does Not Exist

One of the often cited phrases from HR is that anything you share with them will be “held in confidence” so that you can be open and honest with them. They often tout that there’s a confidential policy in place.

The rub with this confidential policy is that the policy is created and written by the company’s lawyers to protect the company, not its employees. So, escalating issues to HR will result in your information being shared with others to ensure that the company can take pre-emptive measures to shield itself from any potential issues.

Anything you share with HR is almost always shared with other HR members, your immediate manager, senior management and even fucking clueless executives. So, don’t be surprised when you complain to HR about a pain-in-the-ass coworker and that coworker then confronts you about it.

Be Smart When Complaining To Human Resources

Human resource folks are hard-working people who get shit done just like you. They want to have purpose and meaning in their jobs and careers as well. They all strive to create company cultures that build positive office karma to bring out the best in everybody so that incredible things can happen. That’s their driving motivation.

In that endeavor, HR is genuinely on your side. They want to make your job more fulfilling and want you to have more of those days where you’re in the zone and kicking ass at work. It’s the perfect outcome. You achieve that nirvana of positive progress and the company achieves its goals and objectives.

However, when it comes to serious issues and complaints, it’s a different story. HR has to put on a neutral face to support employees but must side with and protect the interests of the company at all times.

Once you understand this, you’ll know why things are the way they are with HR on critical issues. And this is why you can feel like they fucking suck and aren’t doing anything for you. They’re just doing their job and doing what they’re told to do - protect the company.

Whatever you may be going through now, just know that you’ll make it through to the other side. You’ve done it before and you’ll do it again.

Feel Better,

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