You have probably heard that the sole focus of the HR department is ensuring the success of the business as opposed to offering individual employees career assistance. That’s true, but no business can succeed without good employees, and those good employees obviously wish to move forward in their careers. Read this guide from VivoHR.
1. Career Planning
HR managers can help you in mapping out the best path to your ultimate goal. If being the CFO is that ultimate goal, your HR manager can identify areas where you might be weak as well as those where you are strong, and help guide you down your chosen career path.
Bonus: If senior management says that they require somebody to handle a particular project or task, your name will be more likely to come up if you have informed your HR manager that it is actually something you are interested in.
2. Managing the Manager
Not all managers are amazing and not all amazing managers are amazing for all employees. Whether you have a manager that you simply don’t click with or if your manager is a micro-managing jerk, you can always turn to the HR department for assistance.
Tip: Avoid complaining about your manager, simply ask what you can do to make it better. A suggested opening phrase would go a little like: “Emily and I seem to clash frequently. Is it possible for you to give me a few tips on how to get along with her better?”
3. Personal Issues
HR managers are obviously not lawyers, priests, or therapists, so you shouldn’t expect free confidential advice or therapy from them. (Still, you can request them to keep everything confidential if that’s what you want. The HR manager should inform you whether or not certain issues can be kept confidential. If your complaint is that you are being harassed sexually by your boss, the HR manager is obligated by law to investigate.)
If you are struggling with debt or marital issues, however, the HR manager can help guide you towards an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If you are being stalked by an ex-boyfriend, the HR manager can notify both reception and security to be on the lookout for him and make plans to ensure your safety.
Tip: You will probably find he EAP number on the company website, but don’t hesitate to ask HR.
4. Medical Issues
Are you or a member of our family struggling with health issues? Are you or your spouse pregnant? Head straight to HR. If you start missing work due to migraines but don’t say a thing, you might lose your job for violating attendance policies. However, if you go to HR, you can fill out the paperwork to be legally protected.
You must never assume that your manager will automatically know the reason for your absences and that you are qualified for protection due to this. Keep in mind that the laws are also important for protecting members of your family too – if you require time to care for a family member that has fallen seriously ill.
5. Whistle Blowing of Any Kind
Big companies sometimes have anonymous tip lines for any violations witnessed while others have a designated person that you can talk to. Still, you can walk in to the HR department to talk about this too. You can report anything from securities violations to safety violations to the HR department. They will set an investigation in motion and look into any whistleblowing.
6. Help with Navigating the Law
It is important to never confuse your HR manager with an employment law attorney, but he/she should have a good grasp on basic employment law. If your co-worker complains of her boss acting creepy, you can go to your HR manager to seek advice and make a sexual harassment report.
If an employee has threatened to sue you, report it immediately – even when you are sure that he was simply blowing off steam. Never allow legal problems to build. HR has the necessary resources for guiding you and know when to call in the lawyers.