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Background

I work in a tech company that used to be a startup a handful of years ago and thus lives in between the typical corporate live and the startup craziness. The culture is what you'd expect from this combination: average age of employees under 30 years, kind of an open-plan office instead of cubicles, very inclusive company for minorities, freedom to dress as you like, to do flexible hours and etcetera.

I actually really love working here and I've found, more often than not, that many friends are jealous, be it because of the environment, the compensation, or the combination of everything.


Problem

People are very comfortable in organizing a lot of on-site events. They have ranged from ones with technical purposes, like teaching other people about new things or tool, through social-oriented ones, such as fundraisers, to fun events, like happy hours or outings. This all happens organically, with someone willing or feeling the urge to do it and the office folks seem to enjoy all of it.

The company grew fast, but the HR didn't, it is still a single person to accompany/advise more than 100 people. Also, events organized or promoted by the HR happen rarely to never.

I've been having a increasing feeling that the HR representative fails in recognizing the efforts of these people, who donate part of their work time to organize things that benefit the whole office. They do it because they want and not requiring recognition, but I'm growing specially concerned with the fact that as the office gets larger, it gets increasingly more difficult to organize these and as it yields nothing other than the self fulfilling feeling, people might stop wanting to do it.


Things to consider

  1. People don't feel comfortable to talk to the HR, as it usually denies before hearing.
  2. I have a very good relationship with the HR, as we became friends outside office (probably not a good idea, in hindsight)
  3. I'm one of the few people that organize many events
  4. The company has a program to recognize employees not through direct compensation, but as credits on a website where you can redeem vouches.

Question

I want HR to reflect that it's doing a bad job at promoting events itself and if it fails to recognize/aid/endorse the organic events being held, people will be left with nothing and the culture will die little by little. Should I tell HR this?

I've talked to other people and they feel like it's an HR flaw, but I sense that none of them are willing to take this subject to its consideration. I also am concerned that it might be interpreted as just myself begging for high appraisal.

Bonus question: Should I tell the HR person that I think they're doing a bad job at recognizing these organic efforts? Or is this just a petty request?

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    "They do it because they want and not requiring recognition" - but you feel the need to complain about not getting the recognition they don't want? – Laconic Droid Sep 28 '19 at 14:31
  • I don't feel like we should be recognized every time we do it or at the first hint of doing something, but I think when the event becomes recurrent and its benefits for all the people involved are clear, then credit seems plausible. If I had talked just to the "organizers" and they expressed discontent on HR's lack of gratitude, ok, but I've seen other colleagues that are just observers stating the same. Yes, I'm confused and might be just ranting, but the goal of coming here is exactly to ask for help on understanding this and seeing if there is something in it that's justifiable. – ConfusedHuman Sep 28 '19 at 16:35
  • @Joe Strazzere - A friend said kind of like that, that he feels that I should wait for someone who is not an organizer to get to the HR to talk about this, or maybe convincing someone to do this, so it doesn't look like I'm begging. The second one seems wrong and desperate to me and the first one I don't think will happen because most people don't feel comfortable going to the HR. (This comment is regarding your previous comment) – ConfusedHuman Sep 28 '19 at 16:41
  • @Joe Strazzere my boss works remotely, so even though I know she is aware of what I do, it is hard for her to get a grasp of everything that happens. Maybe my point really is that I think HR should be more proactive in facilitating/helping the organization of events, instead of passive. If it chooses to be the latter, which has been the case, then these people should be credited? – ConfusedHuman Sep 28 '19 at 16:46
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    "...efforts of these people, who donate part of their work time to organize things that benefit the whole office". Isn't it company's time they are "donating"? – Adriano Repetti Sep 28 '19 at 17:20
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I've been having a increasing feeling that the HR representative fails in recognizing the efforts of these people [...] I want HR to reflect that it's doing a bad job at promoting events itself...

This seems a bit bizarre to me - that's not really HR's job at all. If you want to organise events then that's great, but as you say, then the promotion, effectiveness and overall result of those events are on you. The fact your company lets you do all of this for multiple events in work time is really quite rare, and something to be applauded.

The advantage in these situations (aside from doing some good) is generally that you're seen as the friendly guy at the office who organises all these cool events, and that can take you a long way.

If you start making a fuss and complaining about not getting recognition for these events, then the likely scenario is going to be something between "don't do them then, we don't make you and they take staff away from work time" or "ok, well they're clearly not working out as well as we hoped, we'll cancel all such events moving forward."

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You are making a mistake by trying to pin the future of your idea on one person/department.

Instead of saying:

"HR should do this"

You should be saying:

"Here is a great idea, how can we make this work?"

Ideally you want to be saying this to the person who is most likely to make the idea happen. You need to find someone that a) has the power to make it happen, b) will be receptive to the idea, and c) doesn't have the classic combination of good intentions but poor delivery.

The correct target might be the HR worker. Maybe. If you think they are then you should sell them on the idea as a general concept and, if they like it, casually ask if they think it is something that should fall under the umbrella of HR. If they say no then they are not receptive to the idea and you need to find someone else for implementation.

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