Human Resource

5 Things HR Departments Do to Help Their Employees Succeed

You know your HR department as the people who hired you, the people who give you gobs of paperwork to fill out, and the people who might fire you if you become a slacker or the business needs a change. As such, many people feel like avoiding HR is the best path to success—stay off their radar and all will be good.

But, did you know that your HR department can help employees who need career development and help with so much more? Your HR department exists as more than the policing, systematizing arm of management you may have considered them in the past. HR staff may not specialize in your job, but they are specialists in helping with careers and employee success in all areas of performance, and they are there to help.

5 Ways HR Can Help Employees Succeed

Here are ten reasons why you might want to stop by your HR manager's office today.

Career Planning

You may have heard that HR is focused on helping the business succeed, and not on career help for individual employees. This is true. But, the business won't succeed if there aren't good employees, and good employees want to move forward in their careers.

Your HR manager can often help you map out the path to your ultimate goal. If you want to be the CFO, he or she can help you identify areas where you are weak and areas where you are strong, and help direct you down career paths. Bonus—when the senior leadership team says, “we need someone to do X,” if you've told your HR person that's something you're interested in, your name is more likely to come up.

Managing Your Manager

Not every manager is awesome. And not every awesome manager is awesome for every employee. Whether you've got a manager you just don't click with or a micro-managing jerk, your HR department can help.

Changing a Performance Rating

Was your last performance appraisal accurate? Now, most of the time, HR is going to side with your manager—your manager sees your day to day work and HR oversees numerous employees. But, if you feel there was a genuine mistake in your rating, talk to HR.

Your HR manager will look over your review and compare it with your peers' reviews and your prior reviews. If the HR person feels you have a case, they will talk with your manager.

Personal Problems

HR managers are not therapists, priests, or lawyers, so don't expect free therapy or confidential advice from them. (Although, do ask to keep things confidential if it's important to you. Your HR manager should say, “I can't keep this confidential” if they can't. if you complain that your boss is sexually harassing you, your HR manager is required by law to investigate, for example.)

But, if you're struggling in your marriage or drowning in a sea of debt, your HR manager can help direct you towards an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If your ex-boyfriend is stalking you, he or she can help notify security and reception to keep an eye out for him and to help make a plan to keep you safe.

Medical Problems

Do you or a family member have health problems? Are you or your spouse pregnant? Head to HR. If you start missing work because of migraines but don't say anything, you could get fired for violating attendance policies, but if you come to HR, you can fill out the paperwork and seek legal protection.