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HR PERSPECTIVE: 41 things that frustrate HR professionals

The HR profession looks like an easy profession from the viewpoint of most outsiders. I took an opportunity to ask HR professionals to indicate the things that frustrate them the most. I list below some of the issues that HR people struggle with as they go about their profession.
1. Directors who only think highly of HR when they wanted their relatives recruited.
2. Preparing all investigations and hearing documents then told to submit everything to company lawyers because they would complete the tasks “legally”. The lawyers would be paid double the HRs’ salary.
3. Fellow managers who are quick to tell their subordinates good news e.g salary increases but always approach HR to tell the same subordinates simple work ethics like coming to work on time. Managers that don’t manage their staff and push things to HR
4. Interview panelist who uses interviews to settle personal matters especially (internal posts).
5. Poor recognition yet everyone runs to HR when there is a crisis
6. Management who blame HR for decisions they make eg on salaries
7. Line managers who shove all issues to HR when they can handle.
8. Working with an executive/s who are good at the blame game.
9. Management that wants to make salary decisions on the due date.
10. Working with managers who always want to take credit when things come out nice but on the opposite does not want to take ownership when the outcomes are bad.
11. Dealing with line managers who studied only one HR course and think they are now HR gurus.
12. Working with this new millennial generation that won’t sweat much but is very demanding.
13. Adjusting salaries to chase inflation. Seeking and justifying salary adjustment during this hyperinflationary environment.
14. Culture change in a Covid-19 environment
15. Finding the right skills from the current crop of graduates.
16. Employees who think HR solves their retirement
17. Management that fails to adapt to technological developments.
18. Collective bargaining is such a tedious and emotional wrecking process.
19. The disciplinary hearing is another stressful process.
20. You give HR advice to executives and they say let’s hear what the consultant will say.
21. Executive saying business is not performing well due to the harsh economic environment while on the other hand employees saying they are not coping up with the harsh economic environment. And you are told to handle the hungry workers. They are your people handle them that’s your job.
22. Coming in to fix grievances created by other departments.
23. Inconsistent policy application.
24. When employees ask section head policy issues, section head says go to HR.
25. When executives grade people instead of positions when doing job evaluation exercise.
26. When managers are partial in handling disciplinary issues
27. There is no money for training and development
28. Fixed disciplinary hearings, eg “He or she must go at all cost”.
29. Complicated performance management system eg Results-based management{RBM}.
30. Fixed recruitment and selection, eg CV from CEO with the instruction “this person must get the job”.’
31. Being blamed for the employees’ poor performance and overall organisation performance.
32. Being blamed by employees for management decisions when you are in the same predicament with them
33. Being seen as a peripheral function/profession in the organisation
34. “Paying the boss a domestic worker allowance that is equivalent to my salary.”
35. Keeping quiet in a board session when one of the directors is giving factually incorrect statements because he/she thinks she knows it all
36. Forfeiting the right to collective bargaining because of the dual-role in which you are equally expected to be on the side of the employer
37. Being considered as peripheral skills of the organisation than core & strategic partners.
38. Line management is always reluctant to discipline their subordinates. Even after being told that it is their responsibility. HR is there to advise and facilitate disciplinary procedures.
39. Employees electing workers committee members who are not up to the task. They choose members who only make a lot of noise without much contribution to the works council business.
40. Line management not walking the talk when it comes to organization culture
41. Executives who try to manipulate policies/code of conduct to solve personal vendettas

Nguwi is the managing consultant of Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd. He writes in his personal capacity.