First off, let me tell you that I work in Human Resources for a major wireless provider. I have worked in this profession for 5.5 years. My major was Criminal Justice and I don't know how I got here but I have been trying to escape for at least two. I know most of the time I am asking y'all about abstract questions and you don't know much about what I do, but you are about to find out some do's and dont's in working with local HR:
This is NOT for y'all because I know how you treat your local HR unit, right? Right. This is only for the stragglers that need to know the do's and dont's of working with another department, which is all that HR is. . .
Your local HR unit cares for your health and welfare benefits. We are a department just like any other with issues, problems and concerns that have to be addressed. We are there to respond to the legitimate needs of employees, as well as protect the asset and reputation of the company. We understand that generally, by the time you come to us, it's not to say hi, or even thank you, but because there is a problem.
- We do not keep up with birthdays just for you. We prolly don't care.
- We are not the policy police. We only explain the rules.
- We do not just have free tickets to Six Flags and Water World. Go to Ralphs and use your Ralphs club card for a discount.
With that said, here are a list of do's and dont's when dealing with your local HR.
Email or call them and let them know what the issue is. Provide them with at least a contact number, your employee number and/or your social. We are obligated to research and validate and reconstruct any issue that may be going on with you and respond as soon as administratively possible. And we DO care. Telling us call "ASAP" means nothing. Or calling saying "Did you get my email?." Who the hell is this?
Provide them with a summation of what you want, and do not include in the subject line "Help", or "Urgent!". That is no value to you or I, and could possibly add a delay on to the response time, because closed mouths don't get fed, and what will get answered first is the one with the most empirical data attached.
Allow for a reasonable response time to respond to your inquiry. Pay, health and medical will always be addressed first, followed by any other incidentals. You not getting along with your manager is a personality conflict and should be resolved by meeting with your manager first. Telling us something at 10:51 and then emailing us 15 minutes later with "Any Word?" just won't cut it.
Do call us after your issue has been resolved/check received/benefits reinstated. You'll call us if you want something, but when it's resolved, we don't hear a thing. It's like my loaning money post.
Know that we can smell a fraudulent disability and/or workers compensation claim a mile away. If you are having attendance and performance issues and then all of a sudden you have a doctor's note putting you out on stress, believe me they will be investigated by an outside investigator before a claim will be approved/paid, so don't play. There are LEGITIMATE claims, and they should be treated as such. We're not interested in being names as a party in any class action lawsuits because we didn't do what we were supposed to do.
Do three different things for one issue: Send an email, follow up with a voice mail, and then come and hover over Human Resources desk. Do one, or the other, but hovering is not going to do anything. Anytime an employee has an issue, we can't say yes or no to anything without research and validation. I am not saying this doesn't suck, if something is wrong with your money, BUT, if you are telling me the overtime is not on your check, I'm not just going to say, okay, sure I'll give you ten hours, no questions asked. I have to.
1. Open up the payroll system.
2. Look up the week in question.
3. Contact your immediate supervisor to validate the overtime.
BECAUSE it could very well be that it is not supposed to show up on this employees payroll check.
4. Send a message to payroll
5. Get a response from payroll.
6. Get back to you.
That does not require you standing over me. Yes, I know it's about the $$ and if I was missing money that's how I would feel. But we are only the liasion. We are not writing the checks, and are not trying to Jew you out of your money; in fact, we want you go get paid properly so we can act proactively to keep clients in place, not reactively, putting out fires.
DO NOT, under any circumstances, think that cc'ing your supervisor and mines is going to get the issue resolved sooner. The record of your transaction with HR is your email and is what you should use to escalate. Cc'ing everyone except the Living God is only going to piss off your contact. And you are only clogging the immediate supervisor's email and then you have everyone else in the loop sending us emails. How long do you then think it is going to take to resolve your questions, eh?
If we don't have any more discounts to 24 Hour Fitness, we don't have anymore. Period. They have been down here for a month and now you want some of them. They are gone and I've got bigger fish to fry, okay.
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. If you had 30 days to enroll in your benefits and call from the emergency room on day 31 asking for an appeal for your benefits, I don't know what to tell you. If I asked you to change your address in the system a month ago, and your check went to the wrong address, and now you don't have your stub and/or payroll check, then a stop payment takes 24 hours to process. I don't make the rules.
Refrain from calling us because your panties and/or draws are in a bunch because you found out that so and so makes more money than you. You signed the dotted line on YOUR offer letter for $$$.$$, and they did for another dollar amount. You know what kind of precedent that would take if we gave in to whims and demands everytime somebody is not happy with their pay? It would be a mutiny up in this beeach. Hell I see folks payroll checks all the time and they make GRAND THEFT DOUGH, money I think (partially because of ego and partially because of fact) that I should be getting it too, but that's not what I signed on the dotted line for.
DO NOT threaten us with the union. Honey, the union does not supercede the laws of this company and/or state guidelines. The union is a contract with a list of benefits with a start and end date, as well as policies and procedures we must follow if in fact, they are NOT followed, either by management or employee. And funny how employees want to look in the union book for what they should get if it is a good thing, but when it comes to disciplinary procedures, no one wants to know anything. And I am NOT scuured of your steward I am six three in heels, shoo.
Little penny anne arguments with your co-workers, handle that on the schoolyard playground.
I know about disability, unemployment, workers compensation and final checks. You don't have to let me know "Per the contract, Per State law" Boo, the last place I want to be is in the labor commissioners office with some complaint that has been filed. You do your job and I will do mines. If you want to get into "Per state Law and Per the HR web site", then apply for a position in this department. Do I tell you how to work in Finance/Marketing/Customer Care, etc?
Don't shoot the messenger. Usually by the time we get the information, it's mandated by headquarters. Yes, the bonuses are lower this year; yes, there are layoffs, yes there are budget cuts. Sometimes the news is not so good. If you want some good news, go save some money on car insurance.
Update: If you treat your co-workers (which again, is what we are) with respect, we will do anything for you. (Well, almost anything, I might even smile, and Tam will tell you how hard that is to get done). If you try to throw me under the bus (see LaaLaa's comments regarding pissing us off), well, hell hath no fury. . .
Had to be said, enough said. Aah, feels good to get it off of my chest. As you know, my chest holds alot.