Unwritten Rules for HR Practitioners

HR has so many policies in place, yet, there are certain rules that govern our conduct as a practice that is not any of the policies we keep.

I listed 5 for you. Let me know unwritten yet necessary rules that you wish to add.

We don’t go to the “grapevine.”

“I heard from the grapevine…” should be eliminated from the vocabulary of all decent HR practitioners. Remember, trust and credibility is very important in our role and this line says otherwise.

Even those feeding you with information or those you’re sharing these with will not be comfortable with you because of the image it projects.

Instead, encourage employees to have matured, well-meaning conversations with each other. If you want to find out something, just be upfront and ask. If you want to validate something, just be transparent enough. If you want to give feedback, be ready to present facts and data.

We check data, ONLY when necessary.

One Company terminated an employee for looking through and spot checking individuals in the payroll file without any need for it. The poor employee doesn’t know that there’s a tracker and every click is logged. Of course, there were consequences to this action. But, we have integrity, so regardless if watched or not, this should not have happened.

We handle all sorts of information, from IDs to addresses to salaries and other personal and confidential employee information. We have it because we need it to verify, file Government documents, etc. So, handling them is on a need-only basis.

That means no checking someone’s salary when there’s no legitimate or documented request or need for it. This also means the 201 file is only opened when filing or retrieving relevant documents.

This way employees have confidence in us and know that they are in good hands.

We are neutral.

While we are expected to be human, to humanize and all its variants, much restraint is also necessary.

What do I mean by this?

Political views, religious affiliations, belief systems, etc. are to be held private. We can share our values and thoughts, for sure, but only by way of an intellectual discourse and not to promote or impose upon others.

We should remain neutral so as to promote diversity and avoid any form of discrimination.

We are fair.

Fairness for all employees across layers, genders, nationalities, tenure, and all other factors is what HR espouses.

This article by Brian Walker says it all.

We present ourselves well.

A scene from Late Night

HR, in most organizations, dress professionally.

Why is that?

We communicate verbally and non-verbally, and the most obvious under non-verbal communications is the way you dress – live or remote. Remember that the way you dress say something about you, your values, your priorities and most importantly, how you view those around you.

Professional dressing, across styles or personalities, communicates respect to the people we meet, it communicates that you want to be here and your readiness to take on challenges. No matter how you dress, you communicate something.

So, dress wisely and behave accordingly. 🙂

Thank you for visiting. 

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to emiletherese@yahoo.com. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey. 

For more HR, Employee and Leadership related topics, follow me on Engagement Imperative, LinkedIn and  Facebook.

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