The Human Resources department isn’t just for resolving serious work-related conflicts – or for new employees. It’s a commonly overlooked resource for both happy and unhappy employees. It’s a shame that employees only visit HR when faced with a tense situation. After all, they are quite literally “at your service,” whether you’re in the middle of a catastrophe or enjoying a long string of productive workdays. Perhaps it’s time to visit that sleepy corner of the office to see what Human Resources can do for you.
Professional Issue Resolution
Venting to co-workers about work-related gripes can backfire quite easily. You can be misunderstood, overheard, or shunned. If you vent to your HR rep, they’re obliged to handle your problem professionally. If they’re any good, they’ll come back to you later with a proposed course of action to address whatever is bothering you. So, instead of sending your complaints into an echo chamber, send them to the people who can handle them.
Employee Wellness Programs
Have you asked your company about employee wellness programs? They come in a wide variety, but they’re meant to keep you healthy, happy and productive. The company hopes to reduce job-related injuries and absenteeism, but what do you get as an employee? Well, some employers pay for part or all of a health club membership, some offer professional stress management, some even offer cash prizes if you lose weight or quit smoking. HR wants you to be healthy, and they’re probably offering some perks to prove it.
Employers get obvious benefits from retaining highly-trained and highly-educated employees. As a result, some will assist you in paying for programs that will advance your knowledge or skill set. Google employees receive up to $8,000 annually in tuition reimbursement. These benefits can be amazing, but they require some initiative on your part. It’s certainly not a perk to enjoy passively; you have to take the initiative to talk to them about qualifying programs.
During the usual course of business, employers will naturally build relationships with other firms. Frequently, they will offer each other discounts on goods and services as a benefit to employees of both companies. Who has your company aligned with? Have they offered each other a mutual exchange of discounts? If you don’t know the answers, you might be missing out on some serious savings.
Human Resource is the forge for all employee policies. Parts of these policies impose limitations and constraints on you, but there are advantages to find as well. Does your company pay for seat upgrades on certain airlines? If you’re rarely sick, can you trade sick leave for vacation leave at a certain exchange rate? Human Resources wants you to know the policies, but you can’t expect them to be psychics. But, if you pay them a quick visit, they might help you find some gold in that long, tedious, fine-print policy.
How do you find your HR department in terms of approachability? Do you use them for situations like the ones mentioned above? Can using their resources make you more productive? Let us know in the comments.
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