Can an HR Manager Be Too Friendly?
I know this may sound very stingy, but my company spends hundreds of dollars each month on a coffee service with all sorts of gourmet coffees, condiments and supplies. Business is slow and I’m looking for ways to cut back. Is it wrong for me to ask my employees to chip in or even stop getting coffee altogether?
But no. You can’t cut out the coffee. And you can’t ask your people to pay for it, especially if you still drive up to work every day in your BMW (and okay, it’s leased – but it’s still a BMW!). Asking your employees to pay for coffee will either make you out to be a cheapskate or potentially start a rumor that you’re heading into bankruptcy – neither of which are good options. Actually, perks like coffee, a free pizza lunch now and then or a surprise batch of donuts do a world of wonder for morale. And they’re less expensive than giving raises. So keep the java flowing – and find some other place to cut back on your expenses. Honda Accords are nice. Just saying.
My human resources manager is a very nice and social person. Too social, actually. She has become very friendly with other people in the company and I know that she sees some of them outside of work at parties or at their homes. No, she is not romantically involved with any co-workers. But, as an HR person, I get concerned that she’s too friendly and this could compromise her job. What do you think?
HR managers hold a very trusted role in an organization, don’t they? You want them to be close with your employees, to keep an ear on the ground and to listen out for concerns and issues. You want your HR manager to be an advocate for your employees and make suggestions about good benefit plans and other ways to attract talent and keep your people happy. But in the end, your HR manager is working for you. Her job is to balance what’s best for the company with what’s best for its employees, who (hopefully) have the same goals.
Unfortunately, there’s little you can do here. As long as you’re not aware of any inappropriate or unprofessional behavior you can’t tell someone else who she can and can’t socialize with outside of the office. You can certainly talk with her and be frank about your concerns so at least she knows this is on your mind. But in the end you have to leave it to her to be professional and know her boundaries.