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Why is HR SOOOOOOO Scary?

Some people call us the fun police. Some people dread getting an invite from us, and some people adamantly don’t want “HR” in their company… Why are we so scary?

 In the spirit of Halloween we thought we would look into this. We wanted to shine a light into the dark corners of our workplace mind and work out why HR can be the workplace equivalent of the Monster in the closet or the boogie man under the bed!

Every memorable horror film has a well developed and rounded baddie.. So how did HR become the baddie? We asked our friends.

1) “HR just doesn’t want us to have any fun!”

NOT True! We desperately want you to have fun – just responsibly and inclusively … and safely. (But also in a way that protects both you and the employer from risk!) Yes we know that sounds unfun but it can be.

Alcohol, Bullying and Harassment, Safe Ride Home, Dress Code, Time Off, Over Time, (the list goes on and on.) these are all policies that we put in place to make sure that everyone is on the same page AND that everyone knows the boundaries. If you know your limits, you can play within it! 

Just because you have a policy in place doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself. We just want you to do it in a way that is safe for you and fun and inclusive for everyone!

 2)”The only time you hear from HR is when you’re in trouble.”

NOOOOOO, honestly, we aren’t lurking around the corner waiting to tell you off. This concept is a hangover from the 1980’s HR, when we were perceived as the paper pushers that you only saw at 4:30 on a Friday when you were getting fired.  

In an ideal world your HR person will help you and the company grow and thrive, so that your team and employees don’t get into “trouble!” We talk about real life issues, goals, dreams and future plans. And yes, sometimes we do have to let people go or be the enforcer of discipline.

And yes, we as HR have “attrition and turnover” as one of our metrics that we watch and monitor, but we also have “Employee Happiness/Satisfaction” as one too!

BLANKSLATE are big believers in creating an inclusive and collaborative workplaces. Where everyone feels enrolled and engaged. There are a number of ways HR can show up (outside of when you’re in trouble.) There are tools that integrate HR into your day to day AND give you access to them outside of disciplinary times. Leadership Development, Management Training, Performance Management, Compensation Design, Employer Branding, Recruitment and Onboarding, are all day to day agenda items for HR that we think make your workplace a happier and more fun environment!

3) “HR won’t just let me do what I want.”

This is true. If everyone did what they wanted all the time, the world would be a hedonistic place of Chaos.  That might sound fun to some, but for every person that that sounds fun, to someone else it is terrifying! There has to be one parent in the room, this often falls to HR.

The human condition in general, doesn’t like being told how to behave and what to do—and no other group in organizational life, not even finance, does this as systematically as HR does. 


Next time that ole gremlin whispers in your ear that HR is so scary…. Remember underneath the policies and processes, we just want to build better, stronger workplaces. (We do like to have fun and we know all the inappropriate jokes too!)