4

How much information should be revealed to HR? Should HR calls be anonymous? Can HR calls be limited in scope?

Specifically, one of my supervisor associates in a retail setting is expressing concern toward a manager who is above us. This person is considering contacting HR on their own, and their communication with me makes me feel as though I may have an obligation to contact HR as well.

I leave the details vague on purpose because I don't want answers to be influenced by the specific situation, I am looking for a generic answer. At this point I do not believe laws are being broken, only that behavior is not conducive to productivity and morale. There may be a discriminatory aspect as well.

  • 5
    HR is not your friend - or your associates friend. Treat anything you say (or pass) to HR as public information. – PeteCon Feb 6 at 5:04
  • 3
    public information that can and WILL be used against you! – solarflare Feb 6 at 5:16
  • 3
    I don't see why you would need to contact HR, unless you are also concerned with the manager. – Shadowzee Feb 6 at 5:26
8

It's baffling to me how much the role of HR is misunderstand and often misrepresented here. So here goes:

HR is not your friend, but they are not your enemy either. They are just doing their job as required by their role. They can be very useful if used in the right context

HR's primary job is to prevent the company from getting sued. They make sure clear company polices exist, that these policies and local labor laws are followed, and they manage cases where laws or policies are unclear or broken. In doing so they protect the company from exposure to bad PR, legal action, massive internal fights, etc.

It's not their primary job to make you happy, feel good, improve job satisfactions or give you back rubs; although most HR departments will engage in some "employee satisfaction" activities.

Once you you understand this, it's easy to decide when and how to engage HR. If anything that happens violates a policy or law, HR will indeed be your friend. Make sure that you have a really thorough and clean documentation of what exactly happened when, where, how, who, etc. The documentation needs to be fact based and emotion free. Then head over to HR and talk to someone face to face. Good documentation is a trigger point for HR since it is primary evidence that works great in court. This would cover things like discrimination, harassment, bullying, payments not issued or wrong, abusive behavior, etc.

If your problem is more related to the actual work: performance, tools, expectations, goals, management style, hours, etc. HR will stay out of it (unless it's so bad that it violates an existing policy). That's your manager's job, not theirs.

So to sum it up: you should definitely contact HR if there is suspicion and/or evidence that existing company policies and or laws are violated. Otherwise, you shouldn't.

  • This is very informative and is useful to the post. However, it doesn't explicitly answer the question. I am inferring the answers to be a lot needs to be revealed, anonymity is not possible, and the scope should be limited to an exact incident. Is this on point? – takintoolong Feb 8 at 2:09
4

Specifically, one of my supervisor associates in a retail setting is expressing concern toward a manager who is above us.

OK.

This person is considering contacting HR on their own,

That's their decision.

and their communication with me makes me feel as though I may have an obligation to contact HR as well.

Why is that? Is there any problem that you are facing?

  • If it is related to you, feel free to reach out to HR.
  • If you're trying to "advocate" for someone else, it's not a good idea.
  • If you're being pointed out as a "witness" , wait for the call from HR and then, express your statement / observation.

Bottom line: Just because someone else is contacting HR and told you about their "plans", you don't need to replicate. Please do if you have genuine reasons to do so, irrespective of anyone else doing that or not.

Also remember, anything you say or write is not biased or influenced, it's genuine and you have got enough proof of whatever claims you make (mostly, when the communication is for a negative sense). Simply consider: any info you share, can and will be used against you.

  • This is very informative and is useful to the post. However, it doesn't explicitly answer the question. I am inferring the answers to be reveal proof and evidence, anonymity is not possible, and scope should be limited to issues related to myself. Is this on point? – takintoolong Feb 8 at 2:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.