Rebuilding the HR department’s image (Guest commentary)

Stepping into a new department presents many challenges, especially if it has a bad reputation among employees
By Carrie Reid
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/10/2007

In organizations where the HR department has a good reputation, a new HR leader can easily follow in an old leader’s steps and continue to be admired and respected. But there are the unfortunate circumstances where the previous HR leader or the entire department has a bad reputation within the organization. In such cases, the organization is faced with finding someone to take over the role. The new HR leader’s primary focus should be to rebuild the department’s image and re-establish it as a strong and resourceful entity among management and employees.

To turn the department’s image around, the new leader has to identify what went wrong. There are many reasons why HR departments fail. There are ones that have bad customer service skills. They don’t know how to interact with people on a professional basis, leading to turnover issues. Or maybe the HR department was not focused on putting together the appropriate benefits for the company, making it difficult to recruit top talent.

Another possibility is that the previous HR department or the department’s leader was perceived as unethical. Maybe they weren’t as unbiased as they were supposed to be when it came to the employees. Or maybe in the past employees confided in an HR team member regarding personal or business matters and the information was passed along inappropriately. Breaking employees’ trust with confidential matters can be very damaging to the organization.