HR Pet Peeves – The Do's and Don'ts of HR

Everyone in a company will eventually have some form of contact with human resources.  Whether it's filing benefits or just meeting for the initial interview, there are plenty of different reasons that employees will interact with the HR department.  And all of those employees have their HR pet peeves – those things that they absolutely hate about the HR department.  HR pet peeves are to be expected, of course.  The HR department usually handles hiring, firing, and disciplinary action.  If you're among the millions who work in HR, there are a few things that you can do to keep people as happy as possible, and to avoid committing the various HR pet peeves.  Some of these are simple, personality-related issues while others may have an impact on the company as a whole.  At any rate, the main HR pet peeves are well worth knowing.

  • Don't Ignore The Phone – Yes, that constantly ringing phone is actually one of the HR pet peeves that HR workers have.  But as annoying as it can get at times, and as hectic as your day may be, you can't just ignore the phone.  It's your job to take calls and deal with issues, and avoiding everyone until the last minute is one of the HR pet peeves that hurts employees, hurts the company, and will eventually end up hurting you.
  • Don't Talk Down – High on the list of HR pet peeves employees often list is the feeling that they're being spoken to like a child.  The tone of your voice doesn't have to be shrill and anger-laced, but it doesn't have to sound like you're trying to placate a crying child, either.  Like many HR pet peeves, this comes down to simple respect.


  • Accept Responsibility – Unlike some HR pet peeves, this one basically comes down to being good at your job.  When you get a question, don't send the caller on a never-ending game of phone pinball, bouncing from person to person.  That's one of the HR pet peeves everyone hates.  Answer their question if possible, and if not be sure that you help them get an answer quickly.
  • Know Your Stuff – If you don't understand something, don't act qualified to train others.  And when you handle a specific area of HR, be sure that you know your stuff.  You're a professional, and having no clue about the specifics of each part of your job isn't just one of the HR pet peeves – it can lead to your own employment problems.
  • Don't Play Favorites – Some HR pet peeves, like this one, are obvious.  Give promotions, raises, and other compensation to the person who deserves them, not to the person who shared their pizza with you.  And be sure that disciplinary action is the same for everyone, not based on who you like and who you don't.  Among HR pet peeves, this one can often cause the most trouble.

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