Two powerful lessons I've learned in my HR career
Business insider recently published an article (see link below) that reinforces two important learnings that I've gained over my HR career.
(1) HR can't assume that people will bring complaints to HR just because we send out a policy and hold training sessions. It's not that HR people are viewed as bad or ineffective. It's because of the structural context that HR works in. We are seen by many employees as being paid by the employer to defend employer interests. That creates an inherent reluctance to bring issues forward to HR and a fear that HR (as an authority figure) will blame the victim. We need to counter that fear every day, in our words and especially in our actions. Even just one failure to adequately respond to a complaint will taint HR's reputation (and the employer's reputation) for a long time.
(2) Every leader needs to recognize that holding a position of power is a privilege that brings significant inherent responsibilities to use that power in a responsible and compassionate manner. I love the phrase that all leaders need to be "benevolent with their power and realize the harm they can do, intentionally or not, just by having authority over someone else". Powerful message that we don't talk about enough in leadership and MBA programs.