Hi Colleagues
I am dealing with a question of HR coverage for the HR department, and basically the topic of HR confidentiality among peers.
I heard about several cases, where companies exclude the members of HR team from the core responsibility, in order to restrict access to sensitive information among the HR colleagues.
What is some of your experience with this topic?
Do some of you have a specific setup, like "HR for HR", where only a specific role/employee is designated to manage information/file of an HR team member, and managing cases, where another HR professional is concerned?
Grateful to hear your inputs, as well as to read some materials on the topic!
Thank you and take care!

From France, Paris

I find your concern quite interesting! To begin with, let me ask as to what practices with respect to maintaining confidentiality we are currently following within HR Department and as to what practices it should or requires to be in reality!

Without exaggerating, my point here is that as to what kind of confidentiality is required or supposed to be maintained by employees in HR Department. According to me, evaluation of 'Performance Appraisal' of an individual is one of the areas where secrecy and confidentiality is expected of or maintained in HR Department.

The point is whether writing of PAR calls for any secrecy or confidentiality to be maintained? we need to think over it! Here, we need to understand that we evaluate the performance under PAR for the job / work assigned to an individual for a particular period and his output / achievement against the assigned job/work.

The question that arises here is as to whether evaluating the work performance of an individual against the set target, do we actually need any secrecy to maintain? I don't think so! We just need to call the employee concerned and explain that you were assigned these jobs during the period to perform and you have achieved this particular level of performance and according to company's assessment you deserve this much of rating. That's it, quite simple! Where is the need to have confidentiality?

Similarly, there is another issue where utmost secrecy is maintained in HR Department i.e transfer/posting of employees. The point is as to why any type of secrecy or confidentiality is required to deal with transfer/posting matters. If there is complete transparency in all HR matters, including transfer/posting of employees then where the question arises to have any confidentiality / secrecy to maintain.

Another area which is treated to be of confidential nature is 'Promotion' of employees. If the promotion is 'Interview' based, then the Interview Committee will take a call over it on the basis of merit and other selection criteria and if the promotion is paper based, in that event the DPC (Departmental Promotion Committee) will consider the promotion case where the PAR rating will be the crucial factor, besides other laid down formalities/eligibility criteria etc.

So, there does not seem to be any requirement of maintaining confidentiality in HR Department unless the company's interest is getting clashed/jeopardised! However, where malafide intention or vested interest is involved there the role of confidentiality comes into picture!


From India, New Delhi

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