Hello! How has October been so far? Turning out well, I suppose. Thanksgiving was celebrated over the weekend in Canada and yesterday was a public holiday as well. The Americans celebrate it in November. According to one of my professors, the Canadians thought to move up the celebrations to October when the weather is much more favorable and also to prevent the celebrations from clashing with Remembrance day celebrated in November.

I had a swell time as always, and like I told you HERE, The Food Disciple treated us nicely. I was the Chef Assistant, hahaha. It was a busy weekend and there was a whole lot of food preparation, guests, games, movies, and more. If you follow me on Instagram and keep up with my Insta stories, you must have noticed how mouth-watering the dishes were. That is why you need to read up all our workplace meal ideas on the blog because we won’t let you down. What do you think?

Alright, enough of the weekend. I received a question last week and I thought to share it here on the blog. If you have challenges you may be facing at your workplace and you need advice or just to hear from another party, I would be happy to help in the near future. So please keep them coming, you all rock!

What do you do when it feels like HR isn’t approachable or it feels like HR isn’t on your side? You could also be of the impression that HR is not doing a proper job of fixing your problems.  When issues arise among employees within an organization, HR works towards resolving it. This is because HR is a business unit of every organization. HR seeks to  maximize employee performance in service of an employer’s strategic objectives.

This goes to show that HR works mainly for the organization (the employer). Employees tend to believe that HR works for them and this may not entirely be wrong. In a situation where an employee has a bad manager, HR’s duty is to resolve this issue. In this type of situation, we may safely say that HR is working for the employee. However, don’t forget that HR will do what it takes to retain best employees for an organization. If this particular employee is a top talent, HR, in this case, is still working for its employer. Do you get the analogy here?

With this in mind, I believe the right question should be; when should you go to HR? You need to know the functions of the HR in your organization and know when it’s safe to seek their help to avoid future complications.

1. Go to HR when you want to take advantage of any government protection

Visit your HR team when you want to take your maternity leave, need time off for whatever legitimate reason, or need accommodation, etc. Depending on your location, there are several rights you may have as an employee and you can safely go to HR who will help you and give proper advice. This could also include health plans or coverage and other benefits you are not too sure about but feel your company provides.

2. When you are treated illegally

If you feel discriminated for any reason such as race/color, religion/creed, disability, or other protected areas of law, then you may visit your HR team after proper documentation and necessary procedures have been followed by you (depending on your company’s policy). You may need to file an official complaint and HR will carry proper investigation and follow up.

3. Go to HR for workplace solutions, if it affects health, safety, or productivity

If for instance there are poor health and safety procedures, then you may go to HR to help resolve such issues. If there are complaints in the organization that could benefit yourself and employees in general, like workplace hazards, then report this to HR because they will know the proper authorities to push the complaint to if you are uncertain.

If you carry out any of the above and you still feel that you are not well attended to or not heard, I suggest that you further write out what you had expected HR to do in a formal and concise manner, give it to a second/ third party to vet, and then forward it to HR. This person vetting the memo should be objective and someone you hold in high esteem  within your organization. Stick to the facts of your case as much as possible. Please remember that HR works to strike a balance in contradicting situations.

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Other factors to consider

You shouldn’t go to HR unless you have tried to solve your issues first hand. You need to personally resolve challenges you may be facing, and that is why Zinny Factor is here to help. You should also do proper research on the issue you are considering taking to HR before you proceed. You want to be sure it is worth going to HR.

Don’t go to HR when you are the problem. You certainly don’t want to compound issues. Lastly, you should understand that for any issue you want HR to resolve, it has to be a legal one. For instance, you can’t expect HR to change a person. You can rather find out ways to handle matters differently so that you can work amicably with colleagues. Again, don’t forget that this is one of the reasons why this blog was created.

Also, don’t forget that at every point in time you need to consider your specific needs, the needs of your company, and the quality of its HR team. You don’t want to take actions that will jeopardize your position in your company. HR’s duty is to keep all information confidential at all times, but they may need to divulge information depending on how its consequences may affect the company.

When I received this question, I was particularly happy because I wished I had known this information some years ago. I promised in the October post that I would let you in on more information about me and why I love to talk on HR and workplace issues. This question  was one of the reasons I decided to involve myself in HR and work related issues. I really hope this blog helps resolve your workplace issues. Please send in your questions and I will be happy to help.

Feel free to leave comments below, send an email to zinnyfactor@gmail.com or via the Contact page. You may also follow me on social media!

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Have a bright week!

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