I still remember that heartbroken face of an employee who received the “Resignation-Encouraged to Leave letter”, a polished form of ‘Termination letter’, from the HR head when he entered the HR head’s cabin to extend an invitation for his marriage. He was a good resource but he was being let go due to downsizing. While HR was helpless… unfortunately HR turns into the devil that can devastate an employee. They have to act in accordance to the rules and regulations of the company without hurting anyone’s feeling, which is so tough though.
Apart from this scenario, in normal day to day routines the challenging task for HR is – how to get things done by acting diplomatically with the employees and at the same time making sure the company is in compliance with all the policies and procedures. Certainly, employees must follow all policies and procedures even if it is bitter for them.This is one of many common scenarios because of which HR has always been in the bad list of employees. They hire…, they rule… and they terminate the employees. HR sucks!!!That is a general state of opinions among employees. However there are lots of exceptional situations wherein employees are frustrated not because of the bitter policies or procedures but due to awful interactions with HR. HR will not be successful unless they are recognized by employees. They should be friendly, approachable & promising too. So attaining employees respect and recognition is most critical in this profession and that will ease their people management skills. After all it’s all about empathizing!!!
Few day to day actions resulting in frustrated employees:
Having to hear to “The Number you have called is busy/ not reachable right now” message: Missing phone calls is a usual thing but you have to make sure that you are tracking those missed calls and while responding back you can apologize for not picking the calls due to your other work schedule. Employees on the other hand may not know that you are busy with other work. Especially during the payout time of a month when employees might be confused & several employees might be calling at the same time. HR should not “Switch Off” their official cell phone on a working day, and their mobile battery should be kept fully charged. Avoid your personal calls during work, increase the number of calls you attend by reducing the time spent talking with one employee and thereby make you accessible to the employees.
Delayed response, even after repeated follow ups: My ex-boss says, “Make your each and every transaction timely with an employee in order to create a deposit in their emotional bank account. Maintain a healthy relationship with every employee you deal with by your timely response. If the resolution for their enquiry is getting delayed since you need to get it done from other sources, keep the employee informed about the probable time you require. So that you can avoid unnecessary follow-ups and the employee will be not be impatient.
Throwing ‘NO’ upfront without listening: Be a good listener & don’t say – ‘NO, it can’t be done’ without analyzing the issue. Make the employee aware that you are trying your best to get a solution for their query. (E.g.: Employee is not finding comfortable working with his immediate manager and wants to change the team) Make the employee feel comfortable by saying “Don’t’ worry; I am there to take care of it”. Your simple comforting may melt away his worries. After analyzing the problems set out the best strategy where in you can come up with a promising solution. There may be some situations where in HR should turn those ‘NO’s into acceptable answer by explaining the situation to employees.
Biased approach: Don’t ever be biased while you deal with your employees which will spoil your reputation as an HR professional. Don’t make the employee feel that the query which has been routed through a connection of HR will easily get resolved than by approaching HR directly. Each employee should feel that they are equally important to HR.
Unknown deductions in salary: Keep the employee posted regarding any future deductions in the next month salary which will prepare him in managing his monthly commitments like loan payment /EMI payment etc. There by you can help him relieve his frustration.
Inability to maintain relationships: I have seen lot of new employees been left out alone once they start their work after onboarding. No one bothers to call or enquire about whether they are comfortable or okay in their work place. It is always easy to build relationships with the new hires since they know you from their first day. Maintain a friendly relationship with all employees by talking with them once in a while. (E.g.: Irrespective of department, target a list of employees in a month & call them to maintain a healthy relationship with them). Find your own reasons for a simple call. Birthdays, marriage anniversaries, anniversary of joining day, talk to someone who has come back after his sick leave or you can even ask employees some doubt on particular area of their expertise so they will feel that you value his opinion and thereby you can build up that relationship.
These are the simple things which will make a great impact on employees. Always be pleasant and make them that feel you are there for them.