Department Deep Dive: Human Resources

Office Thermostat’s Department Deep Dive is a recurring feature that educates you on each department.  This feature will go into what each department is supposed to do, what they actually do, how they’re run, and how to work best with them.  

Department Description:  Human Resources is responsible for the quality of life of all employees at your company. They may also focus on how to grow team skillsets and building company camaraderie.  All policy questions go to them: vacation, sick days, holidays, insurance, etc.  Typically office management will roll under HR as well.

Actual Department Description:  corporate equivalent of the principal’s office.  Obsessed with company culture and team-building, expects you to care about it too.  All hirings and firings go through here. Can actually navigate the Byzantine world of health insurance.  

How Will They Help You:  as already stated, they know how insurance works.  Doesn’t matter if you’re raising a family or a 23-year-old that just wants the cheapest option, talk to them first.  They also know the answer to any random office questions, such as how to park your car overnight, why the office temperature is too cold, and maybe even get you a standing desk, if you’re ready to be that person in the office.  

How Will They Screw You:  you know Cindy, the HR coordinator fresh out of college that listens to her Pussycat Dolls Pandora station non-stop and somehow manages to post 6 hours of Instagram Live stories every day, even at work?  Well, every Russian hacker is currently sending her fake emails pretending to be either a. the CEO b. the IRS c. Santa Claus asking her to send them the entire company’s social security information, and she is 100% going to fall for it.  Also, she knows how much you make and she’s not impressed.

Who’s in Charge Here:  HR Director, VP of HR. They have seen some stuff.  Oh, you have someone that can’t make it into the office on time?  The VP is currently trying to figure out the company’s liability after an employee swung a machete at a coworker at a non-work-sanctioned event.  Her afternoon is spent talking to lawyers and missing her childrens’ most important moments.  Show some sympathy.

How to Get Along With Them:  always smile and be friendly to them.  Include them on Friday donut emails. HR has two categories for all office workers:  people they should fire and everybody else. There’s no middle ground.

If They Drink, Should You Be Worried:  have you ever met an alcoholic who was good at keeping secrets?  Now imagine those secrets are who has irritable bowel syndrome. Yeah, not a great combination.

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