Don’t fear the HR department. There are many useful things that HR workers do for employees. Here’s a look at a few reasons you might want to pay your HR team a visit by vivoHR.
HR wants the business to succeed, and this means that it wants good employees at the business. A good employee is motivated and wants to move foward in their career. A HR manager will help you by working with you to map out the path that will get you to your long term goal. They won’t make an entry-level person the CFO, but they will tell you where you are strong and where you need development. When leadership wants someone to fill a position that is a step up the career ladder, they will be there to recommend you, assuming that they know you are interested.
Coping With Your Manager:
Sometimes you will have a manager you don’t get on with. That could be their fault, your fault, or just an innocent clash of personalities. Whatever the reason, HR can help. Try not to complain about the manager. Just ask what you could do in order to make things better. Ask HR how you might work with a specific person, and they will give you tips, and remember for the future that you might be better in a different department.
A HR person is not a therapist or a lawyer. They can’t give you free confidential advice or counseling. They will keep things confidential if they can, and you have asked them to. However, in a lot of situations, HR are mandatory reporters. They are not allowed to keep it confidentially if you say that you are being sexually harassed, for example. In that scenario, the law requires that they investigate.
What they can do, however, is discretely direct you to an Employee Assistance Program if you have issues in your personal life that you tell them about. If you are being stalked by an ex, they will notify security to watch out for a specific person. If you have debt, they can help you with resources for that sort of thing. You can also usually self-direct to an EAP at bigger companies.
If you or a close family member are struggling with health issues, then you should inform HR. If you just start taking time off work without telling anyone then your job may be at risk. If you fill out the correct paperwork then that could unlock assistance options for you and, if your issue falls under the Family Medical Leave Act or the Americans With Disabilities Act then you might qualify for legal protection, which means that your job will not be under threat due to any absences you need to take to care for yourself or your family member
Very large companies often have a tip line for people to anonymously report violations, whistle blowing, that they might have seen. Others have a designated contact. If your company does not have such options, then talking to HR about safety, security or ethics violations is a good starting point. HR will start an investigation for you.
General Legal Guidance:
HR departments are not staffed by lawyers. However, they should have a general grasp on the basics of employment law. If you need to report sexual harassment (even if it is not you being harassed), or you have someone threatening to sue you, then you should turn to HR. Report incidents even if they seem minor at the time. Don’t let things build up into being a serious legal problem. HR can point you in the right direction and will also tell you if they think it would be worth working with an attorney at this stage.