9

After much back and forth, I think that "HR IS NOT YOUR FRIEND", doesn't really convey the message that is intended.

It's usually in response to someone who is unaware of what HR is, what it isn't, and when going to HR is warranted, and when it would be a bad idea.

HR questions come up frequently, and there are many younger workers who are unaware of when and how to approach HR.

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    "When and how should I approach HR?" or some variation of that like "What role does HR have?" seems like a great question to me. I know the "HR is not your friend" thing has gained some traction here but I'm personally not a fan as I find it lacks nuance and introduces a concept that doesn't belong in a professional context (friends <> enemies). "HR works for your company not you" would say the same thing more effectively and is almost self-explanatory. – Lilienthal Jan 22 at 15:28
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    The advantage of a canonical post explaining in clear and ideally neutral terms what role HR does and doesn't have is that it gives you a target to link to when commenting "HR is not your friend!" without having to launch into an explanation in the comments. (IIRC there are 1 or 2 answers out there that can already be used for this where you or someone else explains the concept.) – Lilienthal Jan 22 at 15:31
  • @Lilienthal I know I am a primary offender here, and when I use it, it's usually in the context of wanting to scream "OMG, you are about to put your job in jeopardy". But, yes, something that spells it out clearly would help – Old_Lamplighter Jan 22 at 16:43
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    But my mate Richard reckons HR is not your friend...... – Kilisi Jan 24 at 3:16
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    Do we have any canonical Questions/Answers for The Workplace? If so, where are they? Are they actually used? – Joe Strazzere Jan 24 at 12:29
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    @JoeStrazzere I was wondering the same thing. I guess if someone asks the question 'When and how to go to HR', and then answers it, it would have the same affect? But I doubt they could cover everything except very general information which might not even apply some places. So whats the point? – Kilisi Jan 25 at 8:46
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    @Kilisi - I've read here on Meta about creating canonical Questions/Answers for The Workplace. I could see it working for other forums. But I'm looking for examples where it has actually worked here in TWP. Maybe there are none? – Joe Strazzere Jan 25 at 12:57
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    @Walfrat I would think that it varies enormously between industries, locales and maybe even companies and individuals, so it would just be a very general answer of limited use? – Kilisi Jan 28 at 6:34
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    Are you aware of this post: What does HR do for me? – Bernhard Barker Jan 29 at 11:24
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    @BernhardBarker - so it sounds like you are saying that canonical questions/answers could work in ideal world, but that in reality they don't. Okay. – Joe Strazzere Jan 29 at 12:40
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    @JoeStrazzere I'm saying on this site specifically canonical posts don't naturally come about (and people are generally not too interested in having them specifically created), whereas they do naturally come about on other Stack Exchange sites (like Stack Overflow, where people sometimes also specifically create them). This is not to say it happens as often as I think it should on those sites, but at least it does sometimes happen. – Bernhard Barker Jan 29 at 13:34
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    @teego1967 I'm not saying focusing heavily on the specifics of an OP's situation is objectively bad (and, either way, there's still a decent amount of room for that). We could argue about the pros and cons: you can answer an individual question in the best way possible to help the asker, which comes at the cost of not being particularly useful for people coming from Google (which, IIRC, is the majority of SE traffic). But really what it comes down to is what the intended goal of Stack Exchange / Workplace is, which is definitely more focused on long-term value than users here are. – Bernhard Barker Jan 31 at 18:09
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    @teego1967 Why do you think the functionality to close things as duplicates even exists, if it's not something we're ever supposed to use? – Bernhard Barker Jan 31 at 18:20
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    @teego1967 Actually I feel using the word "canonical" might be a bit counter-productive, as that occasionally leads to a discussion about semantics. What I mean when I say a "canonical question" is having a single question with answers that help as many people as possible based on how they're structured and phrased and having them address some common alternatives to the problem the asker is facing. This does not prevent anyone from posting their own answer with their own take on this (for the most part). – Bernhard Barker Jan 31 at 18:20
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    @BernhardBarker, sometimes questions really are duplicates. Often, however, they are not. There are some people on here (for example, gnat) who mark questions as "duplicate" for even the most trivial superficial similarity to an existing question. This is needlessly harsh and unwelcoming especially to new contributors. Having so-called "canonical" answers to certain questions would only encourage people to mark even more questions as dupes. I think that's counterproductive. – teego1967 Jan 31 at 20:23
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Our base is too broad, what applies in some locales would be job threatening in others. Each question needs to be answered based on it's own situation.

-5

Eh, it seems pretty simple to me:

If you have a problem or complaint, go to your boss. If your boss is the problem, go to HR.

There aren't really any exceptions to that rule for me.

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    It's never as cut and dry as that. – Old_Lamplighter Jan 22 at 16:47
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    I thought of ten exceptions to that rule between reading the answer and writing this comment. – DJClayworth Jan 22 at 21:27
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    What a bizarre response. You have let the downvotes get to you. – Corey Jan 26 at 16:14
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    I don't even remember what it was but I'm sure it was based and owned whoever I was responding to. – Geoff Griswald Jan 29 at 11:59
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    Any arguments against this rule? Some exceptions are not enough to think that this rule is wrong. +1 to this answer from me. – sanyassh Feb 1 at 7:23
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    "I thought of ten exceptions" - fails to mention what any of them are. I can't think of a single exception myself. – Geoff Griswald Feb 1 at 12:03
  • General administrative issues are handled by HR for the most part. Speaking to HR would make sense if you're facing harassment or bullying from a fellow employee (there are certainly some well-publicised instances where HR tried to sweep those complaints under the rug, but generally they're who you should take those complaints to). I'm doubtful of the extent a typical manager would be able to help with that, especially if the other employee isn't their subordinate. If you speak to HR if your boss is "the problem", but they didn't do anything objectively wrong, then HR may not do much. – Bernhard Barker Feb 3 at 20:32
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    General administrative issues are handled by HR for the most part, correct, but you go to your boss first and tell them you have a general administrative issue, and then they tell you to go to HR. Common professional courtesy. Speaking to HR on bullying would absolutely make sense, but only after you've raised it with your boss first (unless your boss is the bully or is part of the problem). It's true that HR might not do much if you go to them about a problem with your boss, but that's hardly a reason not to approach them. – Geoff Griswald Feb 5 at 12:52

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