Should We Get Employee Relations Issues out of the Closet?

risk_management_03I saw an article titled “If you’re being investigated by HR.” The title gave me pause, but I had to spend a bit of time figuring out why.

Here’s what I concluded. I’m bothered by the reputation that inevitably will follow HR if they are known as “investigators.” Yes, I realize that HR is tasked with investigating employee relations issues; often a substantial percentage of HR’s work. The article offered good advice from a labor attorney about handling the delicate issues of confidentiality and responsibility in employment-related investigations.

Is that, however, how HR wants to be known within their organization? I equate investigations with policing, and surely that’s not the role we want?

I suggest that HR would be much better served were their reputation one of helping the organization improve performance and deliver programs that drive organizational value. Am I missing something?

Perhaps it is worth looking at alternatives to becoming the investigators in the organization. I see some options. (more…)