Why are people afraid of HR? Is it a good thing or bad? - CiteHR
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Bharat Gera
Principal Hr Consultant
Nathrao
Insolvency N Gst Professional
NK SUNDARAM
Soft Skill Trainer / Hr Consultant - India
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr-consultant

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So...I have heard many times that in other organisations when HR calls you, people get scared, but that is not the case with my organisation. They are not really afraid. so is it a good thing or bad one... also why are people afraid of HR?
Hi,
Employees are not afraid of HR, they are afraid of themselves.
The reason being, employee may think, have I done anything wrong which is unethical to the company? does any opposite gender colleagues raised complaints on me? Did I involved in any sensitive or confidentiality issues?
Or is my job is under threat? These factors will scare employees when they were called to meet HR until the real reason is know.
Further, there were HR policies for organizational values and culture which has to be followed and even any warning from HR would have some negative impact in the career unless the issue is identified and sorted.
So, typically the reason is that employees scared of any HR policies that being taken against employees for misconduct or for any other reason where sometimes employees do something without actually knowing the impact of it.
HR manuals with list of policies, procedures, Dos and Don'ts along with continuous engagement with employees will help to avoid these fear among employees. They will understand HR is to support them.
Regards
Thiyagu

Dear friend,
In good old days of Personnel Management, this department had acquired notoriety for being "charge-sheet department". A call from this department meant something amiss or some matter related to discipline. Notwithstanding, evolution of personnel management to HR management, the legacy of negative image continued. In many companies, employees interact with HR personnel at the time of selection and thereafter at the time of separation. In between during the tenure there is complete void or alienation.
Even now also, personnel from HR department in big IT companies are ingratiated because they control the issue of visa. It is important to remain in the good books of HR lest they may thwart foreign visit!
Partially the problem lies with management too. Many times management shoots but keeps the gun on the shoulder of HR. Though HR is just a messenger, they are at the front and acquire ill fame.
Controlling visa is apart, in many IT companies, when mass termination of employees takes place, HR has to execute role of a butcher! The way butcher cannot show mercy on the lamb or goat or the animal that comes in front of it, HRs in such cases have to terminate the employees in the defined time limit. Sometimes, few HRs score brownie points from the management because they handle separation smoothly. What happened in Tech Mahindra during termination of techie was exception. The woman who handled the termination, blew up the whole thing and it laid what goes on inside the big IT companies!
As far as fear of HR is concerned, things are not that bad. Not all HRs, evoke fear. It depends on the type of company. You are blessed to have good HR department wherein personnel from that department diffuse friendliness. Good to be in such company!
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar

When HR adopts the motto of employee growth and development ,then there will be no fear of HR.
HR should not maintain a kind of exclusive distance and look like a strict head master.
Attitude should be friendly and professional and unbiased.
HR is a partner in employee empowerment, growth and welfare.
If HR Notices employees want to avoid then analyse and change towards an open approach and dont get the stigma of chargesheet department and visit to HR for any reason should not be like a visit to Police station.
HR needs to intropsect.

What you heard is right, people get scared when HR makes a call. It is from the day of start to till date this may be personnel department or present HR has built the impression of "Axe". You need not have to go far to realise the fact, rather can be visualised well by going through our Cite HR site on a regular basis.
Mr. Divekar has put a critical anlysis of HR and reasons of it's tinted figure. The HR has made out his figure as " Yam Raj " which obviously is a scaring matter.
There is nothing to worry whether people scare or love HR because the very nature of the department is like this. This is a place (department) where a person is born, nurished, punished and die. This is similiar to our celebration when some one is born and at wail when someone die.
The wrong people only scare of HR department because they know veryell what could be the reason of call, even though you call to have a pack of sweet. You follow your trait well with honesty bother not what others think of it. The transparency in dealings will make things better.

Dear Friends,
I am a retired HR guy having experience of working in good old days of when it was known as Personnel Department & better new days of now HR. My experience in both situations has been mixed.
1. In the beginning of my carrier I worked under some of the best Personnel Managers in the good old days and learned a lot from them. Those were the days of strong trade unionism and IR. In those good old days Personnel department although stuck to the company rules and policies but took care of the people and used to walk few extra miles for employees of the company. The trend was not 'Save your Soul' (for SOS I am not using the word which is normally used now because that is a un parliamentary word but perfectly fits)but it was protect the interest of the company for the benefit of the whole lot of employees.
2. As the times changed new terminology came into existence the "Human Resource" here from personnel employees became resource. The transition brought many pleasant changes and also saw change in the attitude of the company management. In fact the change in the attitude of the management brought the changes in HR behaviour also.
3. In good old days it was the attitude and philosophy of the management that dictated the behaviour of the employees of personnel department. Earlier it was Controlling and it transitioned to empowering. IR was taken over by ER.
4. In good old days Personnel Department was not treated as cost centre, as the globalization happened the new philosphy of management crept in and the Personnel Department became the cost centre the alignment to business also changed the behaviour of HR towards employees it became like old wine in new bottle.
5. HR department is good and bad both and this entirely depends upon the the importance they get from Leadership & Guidence from them and also the psyche of the HR people. It fully depends upon the fact as to what impression HR creates on employees of the company.
6. In this forum we come across many issues raised by the employees of various companies about the nasty behaviour of HR people. Besides this I also get many private messages related to problems being faced by them from HR of their Companies.
7. I do not feel that that the Tech Mahindra incident was isolated one it has shown the sensitivity of present day HR towards their RESOURCE. I am using the word resource here as the word HUMAN appears to have slipped out.
8. Still in some companies HR is very good. They are more aligned to people and take care of their people and maintain dignity of human.
9. In good old days definitely Personnel Department in many companies was bossing and controlling but Tatas, Birlas, Escorts etc are the old companies where even Personnel Departments were far better than what its today. There are many more Companies but here I have taken names of tose which I personally know and there were and there are many good companies and there will be more good companies in future and also otherwise also.
Now the response to the point raised, the people should never be afraid of HR if they have not committed any misconduct or have done anything wrong. Like you they are also employees & human beings they have their own problems from many ends of which other employees may or may not be aware. Do not tolerate if HR bullys you.
In the end I wish to mention that I have shared my personal experience without prejudice towards any one whether person or company . I am aware that some may agree with me and many may not agree but disagreement is welcome
With Warm Regards
Bharat Gera
HR Consultant
9322404765

Dear HR professional colleague,
The journey of people management function during past 4/5 decades has seen many changes and to give answer to a question raised whether employees are scared of HR and whether it is good or bad is to me very black and white when it has many shades of grey in between because of impact of insights gained in behavioural sciences and the use of technology in HR function.
Olden day's Labour/Personnel Management and today's Human Capital Management(HCM) embraces what can be called 'Womb to tomb ' functions (Right from recruitment to retirement/termination- a life cycle of an employee) relating to people belonging to diverse kaleidoscopic backgrounds divided by multi -generations, skill sets, gender and high end cross- functional specialists with professional and technology qualifications- knowledge workers.
To interact with such diverse set of people HR has to be a person who brings latest behavioural insights and techniques , legal bearing and high level conceptual thinking in devising HR policies which enable organisations to knit together and stay together on long haul to achieve it's objectives in fierce competitive environment.
In the early stages of people function, the job was heavily skewed towards discipline, disciplinary actions, individual or mass terminations as keeper of rules and regulations which is why the truant employees were scared of him.But those are bygone days and in today's professional environment HR has greatly transformed into people friendly function with human behaviour insights and it's application and use of technology .
No doubt, the disciplinary actions and terminations continue to be organic part of the HR even today, but lot of humane approach and ethical considerations are seen to be weighing in people decisions .
In my view, certain amount of awe (not fear) should be felt for HR person, but to a large extent he has come long way to become people's man, catalyst and effective link between higher management and employees at large serving both by adding value.
Regards,
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR-Consultant

As my learned professional friends mentioned above, if you are law-abiding, honest, sincere in your work, why there is a need to be afraid of. Management devises various policies such as Safety, Customer Service, Marketing etc. If the policies are followed, why there is a need to be afraid of. Policies are guidelines for employees to follow. If you have committed crime, you need to be afraid of Police..... as simple as that !
I had over 25 years of experience in HR... heading the function... nobody was ever afraid of me... all were my friends. Much depends upon how you project yourself in front of the rest of the employees !
Best wishes

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