Why Does HR Have a Bad Reputation?

Many people don’t have a good view of HR, even in organizations that have great teams. This is largely due to bad experiences. Even the best HR professionals will get a rap if they bungled a paycheck or a sensitive employee situation. Those bad impressions are hard to shake.

Why Does HR Have a Bad Reputation?

Some HR people are seen as cold and uncaring. They can be viewed as gatekeepers who are too focused on efficiency and metrics to see the big picture. They can be seen as overbearing in their rules enforcement, especially when it comes to disciplinary action.

HR also gets a bad reputation for obstructing business by forcing employees to jump through hoops for everything from an off-hand comment to an unplanned absence of hybrid working. In this role, they can be seen as a Kafkaesque combination of admin department and office secret police.

Another reason that HR has a bad reputation is that employees believe they are dishonest and don’t tell the truth about their handling of an employee issue. This is especially true when it comes to a claim of discrimination or sexual harassment.

The bottom line is that HR has a bad reputation because of the many issues and mishandlings over time. However, it’s also because of the balancing act HR must perform to provide flawless administration and operate as a strategic partner for the organization. They must be able to balance employee issues with legal compliance and organizational change. In the end, it’s important for leaders to make sure their HR team is well-trained and confident in their skills to help the organization thrive.