Keep calm & call the HR!

Steve Jobs once said that it does not make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do……

Many companies hire very smart HR Managers/Officers to be able to handle their employee related issues and then end up arm twisting them into doing only the things they want to done. From the many conversations that I have had with fellow practitioners, some of the most micromanaged employees in Kenya especially in the private sector, I believe, are the HR Practitioners. We need to understand what micromanaged is though. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your employer is constantly following you, checking on your work, on your day off and even in the middle of the night they call you non stop on work related issues, telling you what and how to do your work and requiring that even the tiniest of decisions or processes must go through them? You are being micromanaged!

Some employers treat the HR department as a PR department. The only reason it is even exists is so that the company can be seen to have one but all HR decisions are made by every other person except the person running the department. Some decent HR people opt to quit this kind of working environment while others make peace with the culture and move along with it. The challenge with this kind of arrangement is that with time, you turn into a brainless idiot. You stop thinking for yourself or being creative. All you do is sit like a zombie and wait to be told what happens next. You’ll probably find yourself sniffing at the rest of the staff to find dirt on them so you can report that to your boss, after all, you never know when you will be called and informed that your services are no longer required. Once, an indirect supervisor of mine asked me to hire a friend’s daughter in a certain position but I hesitated since at that time, the position she sought was not available. After a few weeks of updating her on the matter and realizing I had not delivered, she proceeded to hire this person, place them on duty and asked me to follow up on the statutory documentations for the new staff.

An employer may argue that HR does not directly bring business into the organization but if you look at it critically, it is through the HR processes that those who bring business to the company are able to have the right tools they require. Having a strong HR department in your organization means that your employees are well motivated, listened to, trained and developed and their welfare look at. This has a direct impact on your productivity because if you lack the above, even the most talented employees would be unable to deliver. Aside from the general administrative duties, your HR is your business partner.

It is said that most employees leave the organization because of poor pay. I can confidently tell you that over time, this has changed. A good working environment provides peace of mind, and that is priceless. Your employees will quit a micromanaging employer faster than one that pays lower. How you treat your employees determine how well they will perform. HR Management has evolved from being the ‘hiring & firing’ people to much more and it is time that companies took time to understand the importance of strengthening this department.

And as I conclude this article, I got two things to say: To the HR Manager/Officer going though this kind of treatment, you must find a way to change this culture and stand up for what you believe is fair and just. To the employer, your HR Manager/Officer is your partner, looking out for your interests. Treat her/him better, support him/her and see how much your company is going to grow.