Monday, April 15, 2013

Are your HR folks deemed Approachable?

One of the 'must-do', challenging and yet important activity of HR function is -  planning for employee separation. I am sure many of my fellow HR folks would resonate with this sentiment. On one such occasion, as a process mandate, I was having an exit discussion with an employee who had decided to part ways with the organization. While the insights out of an exit interview are key to identifying and analyzing problem areas, this one was an 'eye-opener' and literally shook me up. The discussion had just begun with the employee reasoning the decision to move when tears filled her beaming eyes. The words echoed - 

"My prominent reason to move has been the 'non-recognition of effort' and 'constant nagging' by my manager."

My immediate inquiry was - "Why didn't you get in touch with the HR folks earlier?"

To this the reply was - "I was not sure if HR could help."

This made me brood over - 

1. The management cliched - "Employees leave managers and not organizations."
2. Daring Question - "Do your employees rest trust and consider the HR department approachable/dependable?"

My immediate next action was to ensure that I meet each member of the organization's BU I was handling personally and know their sentiments while inculcating the feeling of trust. This was followed by an anonymous 'Employee Delight Survey' to garner each project manager's feedback and any otherwise with-held views that the members may have.While, this may not always be feasible, meeting in small groups and conversing with your employees can definitely help.

Technology while is a great enabler, the communication that HR folks these days have with their employees is mostly over emails. Emails don't build confidence nor do they make you more approachable by the employees. The personal touch cannot be imbibed while sending 'mass-mailers'. Building trust is important for us as HR folks to be deemed approachable and most importantly providing solutions will restore that faith for recurring connect. The first step to HR process improvement and enhancing experience for employees at work place shall begin with 'earning' their confidence. I did take a step and am striving - How about you?


  1. Hi Pawan,

    I appreciate you bringing this conversation on your blog and it is not new to me as I have seen potential rising candidates leaving the company due to managers treating them brutally, exploiting for various reasons and non-responsive to his/her thoughts/actions/innovation.

    Having that being said, a thick layer is generated between the Operations and HR dept and due to this shield, Operations continue to reign over the employees bypassing the ground rules of the company in any interest of the employees.

    However, the above is not valid is all the cases and companies where the HR is versatile to identify the deficiencies and approachable in every aspect regardless of age,sex and designation.

    I am sure you are on of them!

    Nice to see you writing all such incidents!


  2. Thanks for your comments. No better learning than learning from experiences.