… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

I don’t want you to be that honest with me.

I am an empathetic, trustworthy, attentive, and approachable person. Or at least that’s how I think people view me. Good things, right? Yes, most of the time. I find it helpful in my position that people feel they can talk to me. It keeps me better keyed into how things are going and how people are feeling. That makes me valuable to my boss and better able to meet the needs of the employees and management.

And then there is the down side. People tell me things. Personal things, financial things, gross things, unnecessary things, holy-crap-why-did-you-just-tell-me-that? things. It doesn’t matter if I’ve known them for 5 years or 5 minutes. This is why I think I would make a good FBI agent (part of it at least). I can see the confessions piling up.

I don’t mind being an on-site sounding board for employees, but I do wish people would have a sense of boundaries. There is such a thing as being too honest and too open. When you confess to someone, you are essentially placing a burden on them. To listen, to provide assistance, to deal with the stress your revelations cause, or to even take action. I have no training in counseling despite a Psychology BA, and sometimes I find myself wishing I did. But that’s not really the solution. I find myself handing out information on our Employee Assistance Program like it’s going out of style, but I worry employees aren’t taking advantage of it. I also don’t want to discourage people from talking to me.

Any suggestions? Let me hear it in the comments.

At the very least, I could do her job.

4 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 HR Maven :

    Here are a couple of quips from some of my conversations:

    I am so glad that you feel comfortable in coming to me.

    I can help you with work-related issues; when we get into personal things, I am not as effective.

    We trust our EAP to help with those issues – if you wish, we can call from my office and make an appointment for you. It’s just as confidential.

    I offer to call for/with them, so it’s not as daunting to pick up the phone. It’s helped – at least for the people who have come to talk to me.

  • 2 HR Minion :

    HR Maven – Thanks for the suggestions, those are good!

  • 3 Regina :

    I’ve become this person in my office lately. It is good and bad like you say. Personal stuff is fine, hasn’t reached unbearable yet, but I’m not thrilled about being told by an employee that they took a vacation day yesterday because they had an interview.. . . . . at least I can have the paperwork ready??

  • 4 HR Minion :

    Regina – I get that one too. It seems like a really odd thing to tell HR. It’s almost like bragging. 🙂