One of the most common mistakes made by HR professionals is greatly overestimating how much others understand about their field.
This isn’t a big deal when dealing with friends or colleagues. When dealing with employees however, it’s a recipe for both misunderstanding and easily avoided conflict.
The answer to this problem is simple. Each and every employee at your company should be given a thorough explanation of their employment contracts. It also wouldn’t hurt if they knew a little about your job description too.
Here are six facts that most employees get wrong.
The First Amendment Only Goes So Far
While the importance of the First Amendment cannot be understated, many people seem to greatly overestimate its reach. The purpose of this all important bill is to ensure that the government of the United States cannot restrict the speech of its citizens. Nowhere does it say that an employee cannot be fired for saying something that his/her employer disagrees with it.
A Reasonable Boss isn’t Legally Required
In a perfect world, we’d all have a boss that treats us like a friend. In reality however, there’s no law that says our boss cannot be an absolute jerk. There are certain exceptions to this. Your boss cannot discriminate against you because of your gender, religion or sexuality for example. But if he just doesn’t like the way that you smile, he has every legal right to criticize your latest report.
Employees Can be Dismissed at Any Time
These days, there’s no shortage of laws pertaining to paid maternity and sick leave. By law, all employees are entitled to these things. A common mistake however is to believe that they cannot be dismissed while enjoying them. The reality is that if an employer has a legal right to dismiss you, they’re well within their rights to do so while you’re at home.
Bad References Happen More Often Than People Think
With the popularity of lawsuits higher than ever, it’s not uncommon for employer references to contain nothing more than the date and duration of employment. This however, is a general preference, not a legal requirement. If you do something bad enough at one company, you can virtually guarantee a scathing reference next time you apply to work elsewhere.
The HR Department Works For Employers Not Employees
There are many instances in which the human resources department will be of great assistance to an employee. Conflict resolution and effective communication for example. When it comes down to it however, their primary allegiance is always going to be with the employer. Asking them to side with you on something that hurts the company therefore leads to nothing but awkward situations.
HR Conversations Aren’t Confidential
Tell your problems to a doctor, lawyer or priest, and they are bound by law to keep those problems a secret. Tell those problems to the HR department however, and they are free to tell whoever they want. Now, no respectable HR professional is going to gossip about you. But if you tell them a problem that affects the company, you can bet your bottom dollar that management is going to find out about it.