Happy New Year folks! As another year is behind us and we are all on our way to being another year older and another year wiser, I felt it appropriate to drop some wisdom on you that will help you build a useful relationship with your friendly HR department. If nothing else it will help you steer clear of some comments that kind of make you sound like a douche.
- “You probably don’t know the answer…” let me throw some variations out there… “I guess this is an HR question…” “I don’t have any questions you can answer…”. Really any variation of a phrase that implies your HR person doesn’t know whatever it is you need the answer to. A lot of times we know, and if we don’t know we know exactly where to find the answer.
- “I’ll save the salary talk for the important people…”. Well, that’s nice. Just take a guess where the compensation strategy comes from? This one really doesn’t matter if you are talking to HR or anyone else. It’s kind of rude to imply whoever you are talking to isn’t important. It’s okay; I know what you meant… You’ll save the salary talk for the decision makers, but please know that I work closely with the decision makers and they are going to call and ask me compensation questions before they make their final decision.
- “I didn’t know that” For example: I didn’t know that the 30th was the last day for open enrollment. In the history of open enrollment, I mean all the way back to the beginning of open enrollment there has always been a deadline for enrolling. This isn’t an arbitrary date to complicate your life, there are several players in this benefits game and the deadline is non-negotiable. We don’t want you to miss the date, I promise, but we can’t enroll for you! Good thing we keep track of how many emails we sent you, voicemail’s we left you, meetings we held for you, and smoke signals we sent you.
- “I complained about so-and-so, but they are still here.” Well, we aren’t the police. We aren’t going to arrest every person that ticks you off at work, we will handle situations we need to handle, but it doesn’t always happen in one clean action and we can’t just take your word for it. Document. Document. Document.
- The other side of that one is “Don’t repeat this.” I can’t promise anything is 100% confidential, but I can promise to treat it appropriately. If you tell me something I have to act on, I’m going to act on it.
- “I could do your job.” Yep. Just as well as I can do yours. Don’t be a douche.
See? Nothing complicated. Just 6 easy things to remember when talking with your neighborhood HR folk. Don’t be rude, we have access to your personnel file 😉 Just kidding! Do come have a conversation with us about what you need, we would love to help you!