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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

HR dept is a terror

Home Forums Advice & Chat HR dept is a terror

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  • #1116037 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Sure, and that’s different from a campaign of emails calling them out. I also think these things are better resolved – when there’s a conflict between departments that’s getting in the way of working smoothly- for the two managers just to get together and talk.

    #1116039 Reply
    CroissantRoll
    Guest

    Oh you guys! You all have such good insights! I so appreciate all of the great advice and just opinions!
    You’re right Kate, there is emotion involved in it. I think partially because I never had issues with them until moving into this new department and I’ve never had issues in general at work with anything like this. I feel like I’ve always tried to stay neutral in hopes of avoiding situations like this. Lol. I also think it has to do with how miserable the people that work for me are around them. I hate that they have to hear bad attitudes all day. Those kinds of things are contagious, especially in a large workplace. I think you’re exactly right about how they have realized that they can push my buttons though. It seems like since the first time I spoke up and tried to stand up for myself they have been on a mission. Your thought processes are really insightful, you’re right, it’s just a paycheck and I agree there has to be ways to just work around it.
    I like the idea of keeping a solid record of everything. And Lisforleslie I love those examples of polite and non confrontational emails! Thank you so much for those!

    #1116040 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    So who is on the level of the supervisor in charge of these HR business partners that are problematic? Is that you? Or your boss? Boss’s boss? I feel like a conversation between the two peers about the friction that’s been happening would be in order. The conversation shouldn’t get into who’s being personally targeted or anything like that, just like, these are the things that are happening, let’s get into causes and then solutioning.

    If you think that’s not needed and you can handle them by taking your personal feelings out of it and communicating via polite unruffled emails, try that first.

    #1116049 Reply
    PurpleStar
    Guest

    Your HR sounds miserable. Kat and Lisforleslie gave you great advice. I want to add that you should also work with your team and teach them to ignore and not respond to HR’s provocation. Your team also needs to control their reactions to the button pushing. If HR is exceeding their authority, i.e. writing up your team for things you have approved, then you need to document and reverse those write-ups. And you must keep emotions out of this – anything you say (or write) should be professional, to the point, and toneless..even your speech.

    It seems like those HR staff have a long-standing issue with your department/team and are now trying to see how far they can go/push with the new leadership (you).

    If the HR staff acting this way have a boss, then you may have to loop that boss in by CC on emails correcting the staff oversteps and asking your boss to engage with the HR Director.

    Also, do check out Ask a Manager – her archives surely have letters that will give you more suggestions and insights.

    Good Luck !

    #1116063 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    FYI – I’m working with someone now who is just a jerk. He is supposed to be working as a partner and just … isn’t. If he finds a mistake, he just doesn’t approach my team to say “hey, I noticed this – is this right?” he just calls it out in front of the client. And when he blames my team for whatever, I accept when the blame is valid but if it’s not – I very politely note my position. And I call out where he could have taken some simple steps to help avoid the issue but do it in a way that praises him and makes it hard for him to bitch (“Well, you know so much about this, you’re the expert, so I am going to rely on you to guide us on how to best define this and understand the implications, there’s no way my team would know more than you.”).

    He is rude, condescending and petty. And I never respond with anger. Ever. I always respond professionally. I always give the appearance that I’m just trying to understand his position or approach to resolving problems and that I’m not used to someone who takes the approach that he takes. I very politely calls out his pettiness under the guise of actively trying to partner. I’m beginning to enjoy it.

    #1116068 Reply
    CroissantRoll
    Guest

    Small update: One of the girls who works for me, put in her 2 weeks notice today. Partly because of the HR situation around them and partially because of another woman who is so very unpleasant to try to work with. I also got a very lengthy text message from one of my other employees Friday asking if she could take Monday off because she just needed a mental break from the HR department. However, the one person who technically tied my team to that particular office, is the one who is leaving, so my hope is that I can talk to my boss about having the rest of my team moved to the office that I am in now. My hope is that some distance from HR will help them breathe. I don’t know that it will be approved, but I’m definitely asking.
    Kate, as for your question, I think my boss’s boss would be the only one over the HR department. When I sit down with my boss tomorrow I may mention kind of what you’ve said to him and get his thoughts on his boss having a sit down with the HR department and letting them know that their behavior is noticed…
    Purplestar, I agree on having a sit down with my team as well and reminding them that reacting isn’t always the answer. We are lucky enough to be able to wear headphones/EarPods to listen to books, music, etc. So maybe I can remind them that shifting their focus on that for now could be a good way to cope.
    Lisforleslie, whoa I love your self control! That is an amazing idea and I imagine that could help relieve my stress about the situation by simply turning the tables.

    #1116079 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    I can’t say it’s always easy but it’s a technique I’ve learned over time. Reacting and getting defensive always backfires and between the group here always looks “weak”. I’m not saying weakness is bad, but you have to claim the higher ground and always playing defense changes that position.

    Something like other people not submitting their time reports – if you’re their manager, then yes, you’d be responsible and should be making sure those get done on time. If you aren’t their manager, then the complaint needs to be redirected to the appropriate manager. “Hey, this was misdirected at me. I’m looping in personA and personB so they are aware time reports aren’t getting submitted on time. Please direct issues to PersonA and PersonB going forward.”

    If Person A and Person B hate HR as much as you say, they’ll deal with it.

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