This was another time I sat down to write about something and my thoughts kept getting pulled to something else.  Maybe it’s just because it’s the beginning of Spring…
The one thing you need to do if you are a California employer is to determine if you need to include a Workplace Violence Prevention (WVP) Plan in your Illness and Injury Prevention Plan (IIPP).  Here are the exceptions.  If you need to create one, here’s the model plan, and information on what workplace violence is and how to prevent it.  Let us know if you’d like help
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s where my thoughts kept going:  Trust.  Why?  Well, last week I read this sensational headline (“More than a third of US small business workers say they don’t trust their company’s HR department”), then a summary of a study (“Half said a lack of an HR Department contributes to a toxic workplace”), then the actual study all about how employees in small companies don’t trust HR (“43% of our respondents said they don’t feel they can confide in their HR”).  Yeah, that got my attention!  I did a bit more digging and didn’t feel that much better about what I was reading.  The fact was that it wasn’t a great survey and the conclusions didn’t seem to be supported by the evidence presented.  Worse, the suggestions for improvement weren’t related to the study. 

To be fair, many of the suggestions were the same ones that an experienced HR pro would implement.

It was weird enough that Lisa and I actually wondered if it was written by AI.  That’s a whole other topic, and makes me wonder if the newsletter that picked up the study has a human editor.  If they do, why haven’t they answered my email? 

I was venting my frustration with a colleague and he helped me to crystallize what my real issue was:  it’s wrong to think that employees need to trust HR.  What?  Employees need to trust leadership, the company, the business, their employer – whatever you call it, they need to trust the whole system.  If people don’t trust your HR function, then they don’t trust your business.  That’s it. 

That’s the issue:  when HR is regarded as separate from the business, then it can do its own thing or have its own agenda.  More often we see that it doesn’t do enough, or doesn’t do the right things.  Effective management integrates all the functions required to run an effective and compliant business.  Effective leadership builds trust by navigating through conflicting requirements, making tradeoffs, and communicating with stakeholders. 

If you want to talk about how to build an HR function that is a part of your business and supports your business, let us know. 

Jonna, Lisa, Lisha, Suzanne, Karen and Linda
P.S. I won’t link to the study or the summary or the headline, but if you’re as curious as a cat, let me know