Trust HR

A few days ago, I read an article about whether or not you can place your trust in HR.

Of course, when the conclusion of the article and the related comments were: “no way, are you crazy, never trust them!” if you are an HR person, this doesn’t make you feel very proud.


Liz Ryan, who was a Fortune 500 HR SVP for many years stated in the article:

“Too many leaders view the role of HR as protecting the firm against its own employees.” I would add, protecting the firm’s economic interest, which is perfectly fine, as every business owner needs to keep their economic interests in mind, but AGAINST their employees?

She advises people who are dealing with the most serious workplace issues (like sexual harassment or discrimination) to meet with an employment lawyer first before they talk to HR!

She sees a real problem with HR is that the function has become so fear-based and protective that it is dangerous just to walk into HR and tell them anything.


The other day chatting with someone in an HR role, he said, HR is not there for the people, the Work Council is. Wow, what a statement! Houston, we have a problem!


In a different company, the HR manager didn’t want to grant the breastfeeding time permitted to a mum which is stated in the Collective Agreement, because the person had taken 1 month unpaid leave to be able to stay with her baby a little bit longer after the official maternity leave (in Spain is 16 weeks). Empathy, leadership, comprehensiveness, fairness, these should be the words that come to our mind when we think of HR.


Where along on the way did we lose the H in HR.  How could it have happened that HR lost their HUMAN aspect and even started referring to the employees as resources?

I doubt very much that any of the people who studied in universities to become an HR person would have imagined that their profession was going to be associated with negative feelings, fear and untrust.


Liz carries on the article:

“The real job of HR is to make the organization an amazing place to work — a place where the industry’s top talent wants to be.” and I would go even further and say

“where they want to stay and want to do their best”

My favourite part: “It takes a tough HR leader to insist on that vision for HR, as opposed to the traditional policy-enacting, rule-enforcing mindset.”


Dear my HR friends, I know, we are tough enough to go against this outdated mind-set and create amazing workplaces!



I would love to hear your experience with HR. I cross my fingers to see loads of positive and uplifting opinion, bravely shared!


Published on Linkedin