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Old 05-23-2011, 07:45 PM
 
926 posts, read 2,051,359 times
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When discussing a employee-employee conflict on another employment forum and the temptation to escalate the concerns to HR to have them mediate, people told me that HR is not your friend. If you approach HR with issues, despite them saying you should come to them whenever you feel uncomfortable with something at work and putting on this warm a fuzzy image of a department that will help you navigate rough waters, you'll be branded as a complainer and trouble maker. So it's best to try to work it out with your colleagues directly.

But what if you have a grievance with a colleague, i.e. they do something that bothers you and negatively affects your ability to do your job, continue to do so even after you ask them to stop? So you just grin and bear it, or file a complaint with your supervisor or go right to the top and ask for an appointment with HR? I get the impression that HR is there to protect the company's interests, not the employee's so why even bother to file the grievance?
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:00 PM
 
5,656 posts, read 17,967,649 times
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It is their job to keep the company from getting sued and that the correct forms get filled out so they don't get in trouble with the govt.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Sumner, WA
358 posts, read 986,224 times
Reputation: 250
There's a difference between employee to employee conflict and employee to overall conflict.

It is in a company's best interest to have HR, so first and foremost HR is the company's friend. However, the company also has an interest in making sure all employees are getting along. This is when HR isn't really anyone's so-called friend, but a mediator.

So in the latter case, it's neither here nor there, but HR is needed in those situations.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:30 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 21,319,746 times
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Disagree that HR is YOUR friend. They are there to protect the company's interests. If there's no real clear right or wrong side, or any obvious benefit to a particular result, which is the case for most interpersonal conflicts, then HR is not likely going to get involved.

If a person feels they have no option but to go to HR with something, they should be aware that HR may not agree with the person how to handle it. For example if you feel a person is treating you disrespectfully, HR may not respond by reprimanding that person, but rather offer you tips on how to respond to the person.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:31 PM
Status: "Enjoying the winter" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
34,062 posts, read 61,944,958 times
Reputation: 37993
Yes, they are there to meet legal requirements, not to be anyone's friend.

We managers have been given strict orders on when to involve them immediately and we do.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,011 posts, read 26,943,784 times
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Only creeps and zombies work in HR
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:15 PM
 
Location: San Diego
2,920 posts, read 6,875,993 times
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Some indicate happen at my work several years ago. Someone said and wrote something inappropriate to this chick at work who I was real good friends with. So naturally, she told me about it and got real creeped out. So HR came in and sat down with a ton of people but they spent the most time with me. I told them some stuff and they said in verbatim "nothing you say here will go to your managers".

A few days later, I have a meeting with my managers. They ask me if I'm sleeping with this chick since alot of people in the office think we are. It's something they need to be informed about if we are an item. I knew the other people who were interviewed by HR so it didn't take a rocket scientist how they got that idea.

Only time I'd ever contact HR is if its something very serious but even then, I'm much more likely to contact an attorney since the only things I really care about are about money.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:32 PM
 
24,497 posts, read 37,497,642 times
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I just took 3 700-level HR classes at Columbia University. ALL three post-doc advisors were adamant that HR does very little in "human resourcing" and is just the first barrier in protecting the company from exposure to liabilities from employees.

So, I absolutely disagree.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,345 posts, read 86,667,244 times
Reputation: 17645
Someone once wrote "HR isn't there to help you; HR is there to protect the company FROM you."
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:52 PM
 
Location: NJ
18,668 posts, read 18,113,443 times
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Correct, NJBest, and in that regard, they differ little from others of like rank throughout a corp. Your friends are NOT your colleagues. Repeat that thousands of times if needed. Not in any department, nor any facility, nor any subsidiary, nor any regional hq, nor a corp hq.
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