Beyond HR’s Reach: What HR is NOT

Starting out in human resources at a small but growing company, I quickly realized that there were misconceptions about the HR function. While HR is indeed a vital department in any organization, there are misunderstandings about its role and responsibilities that need addressing.


Guiding Decision Making, NOT Making Decisions:

Contrary to popular belief, HR doesn’t wield the final decision-making power within a company. While we play a crucial role in advising management on strategic matters, the ultimate decisions are a collective effort involving input from various stakeholders. Our role is to provide insights, analysis, and recommendations based on HR expertise, but the responsibility for final decisions lies elsewhere.


Culture Starts at the Top, NOT solely with Human Resources:

Building a vibrant company culture isn’t solely HR’s responsibility. However, true cultural transformation begins at the highest levels of leadership. Leadership, particularly the C-Suite, must champion the desired culture through their actions and behaviors. Without their commitment, efforts to nurture a positive culture will fall short.


Balancing Business Needs and Employee Well-being, NOT Customer Service:

HR isn’t solely a conduit for addressing employee grievances or fulfilling their wishes. While we aim to enhance the employee experience, our primary objective is to strike a delicate balance between meeting business needs and safeguarding employee well-being. This entails aligning organizational objectives with policies, procedures, and practices that promote a supportive and equitable work environment.


Navigating Financial and Personal Choices, NOT Personal Advisors :

HR serves as a valuable resource for employees seeking guidance on various fronts, including benefits administration and workplace policies. However, it’s crucial to recognize that HR isn’t a substitute for financial or personal advisors. Seeking professional guidance ensures accurate and compliant advice tailored to individual circumstances, particularly when it comes to intricate matters such as financial planning or legal concerns.


Human Resources is NOT your Personal Coordinator:

Despite being a valuable resource, HR isn’t a personal concierge service. While we’re here to provide assistance and support, it’s essential for employees to understand the boundaries and not overly rely on HR for non-work-related matters. HR is dedicated to supporting employees in their professional development journey. From training opportunities to career guidance, we’re here to help you thrive within the organization.


Understanding what the Human Resources function does and doesn’t do is crucial for fostering realistic expectations and effective collaboration within organizations. By dispelling misconceptions, we pave the way for a more productive and harmonious workplace.

~Jessica Savini, Client HR Manager

The Consonance Group can help with your HR needs, whether you’re an HR department of one or an executive who is juggling it all. Reach out to Adria Cooper, COO, to assist.