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

When you are in HR, nobody cares

It’s frustrating. It’s infuriating. In fact, it’s enough to drive you away from HR entirely. There you are, moving behind the scenes of the company, getting stuff done, making things happen, helping keep the company on track when… Wham! You make a mistake and everyone just can’t wait to join the Anti-HR bandwagon. Hell, even when it’s not your mistake, you still end up taking the heat. And what’s worse, no one seems to care why something went wrong, the only thing that matters is that it did. It’s totally unfair, right? Maybe. Is it unexpected? Not really. And trust me, HR isn’t alone.

For example, when was the last time you thought about your garbage pick up? Or the cashier at a store? Or even about your dentist? I bet it was due to one of two reasons: Either you needed something from them, or they made a mistake. How many times have you complained about the IT department when a system went down or the internet was slow? HR can be like that too. Most of the time, our function within a company goes unremarked and unnoticed by the majority of the employees. The only time people think of us is when they need something or because a mistake happened. HR provides a service, and like most service workers, we are expected to do our jobs professionally and correctly, with minimal involvement from those we are providing service too. If I wanted to be poetic, HR is just one instrument in an orchestra that only stands out when it has a solo or when it is out of tune. Most of the time we just blend in with the harmony.

For those of you in the HR trenches, and you know who you are, try to keep in mind that what will set you apart as an HR professional is not the 99% of the job that you get right, but how you handle the 1% that you mess up. After all, the person with the incorrect paycheck doesn’t care how many you did correctly. It’s how you fix the mistake that will really influence that employees perception of HR.

6 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Crystal Peterson :

    “…try to keep in mind that what will set you apart as an HR professional is not the 99% of the job that you get right, but how you handle the 1% that you mess up.”
    So true, Shauna. So true!

  • 2 Shauna :

    Crystal – Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 3 Trish McFarlane :

    I learned early on in HR that most of us in the trenches are not there for the spotlight. I like the fact that I can be successful by making the VPs look good, or partners, or executives. The secret is that if you rock at it 99.9% of the time, a majority of your employees will know it and will love you for it. That’s what makes it worth it. If people want the limelight, get a job that’s billable. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great post. You always make me think.

  • 4 George Terry :

    Hi Shauna,

    It’s a shame that HR seems to have found itself in a position that is so devoid of recognition. HR professionals, more so than most staff members of any given organisation, know the importance of effective feedback, yet receive relatively little considering the centrality of their role in a company’s smooth running. The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – the offical UK body for HR) released a new piece of research recently, one of the focusses of which was changing the organisational culture of companies and trying to raise HR’s profile within a company’s departmental hierarchy. A tall order, but an admirable one nonetheless.

    Another great post!

  • 5 Shauna :

    Trish – hmm, I wonder how much a minion could bill out at? Thanks!

    George – That would be cool if HR could get more recognition, but yeah, that is a tall order. Thanks for the comment!

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