"When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home." - Betty Bender

Human resources are essentially human! When it comes to employee benefits, payroll, and talent management, HR personnel are certain to come across a few personal details that employees might not discuss with their coworkers otherwise. As human beings, it is very difficult to avoid developing a deeper personal relationship with employees who open out to you. However, it is critical to understand the distinctions that exist between HR and any other sort of employee friendship.


If HR is friends (or worse, emotionally connected) with an employee, every decision they make around that individual will be tainted, no matter how fair they are, or how thoroughly they have documented the reasons behind their actions. The bias that HR personnel generally tends to avoid will always come into the picture for the people they are connected with.

Everyone wants to be their best at work, especially HR professionals. And people will argue that they should also build workplace friendships as everyone — but that as stated, it isn't always simple for HR professionals. Human resources specialists bear a significant amount of responsibility for their coworkers as well as their company. People need to feel that they've been dealt with fairly and impartially. Instead of this, the true essence of workplace friendship is how you connect with your team and the organization. A person should enjoy their work. At the end of the day, it's all about teamwork and how people align themselves with others, as well as the capacity to collaborate as a single unit. People seek out those who will listen to them, understand their problems, and provide answers.

The ability to form bonds with others will not only create confidence in them but also provide them with strength.

How can making friends with HR benefit everyone?

Since an HR is responsible for creating a conducive environment for employees at workplace, it is important for them to know of anything going wrong within the organisation and being friends with employees will only make them open up to the HR department easily.

·      The HR department can perform their duty well by knowing of any mishaps well in advance through their acquaintances among the employees.

·    In large corporations, employees usually undergo a lot of work stress and pressure and they sometimes need a shoulder to vent upon. In such situations, friendship always comes to the rescue and being friends with HR will help in addressing their issues.

·        Even in case of conflicts, HR is the one who solves it. After all, they are the ones responsible for creating a friendly environment at workplace. While communicating any important managerial decision, HR can become influential.

How to AVOID going overboard?

Even while being friends, a certain level of professionalism must be maintained. Excessive friendliness can become counterproductive.

·     On the other hand, HR cannot be too emotionally involved in a relationship as this can blur the lines between work and friendship. HR’s decision should not be influenced. He cannot be biased towards a person whom he already knows. He cannot let the rest of the world see him as playing favourites. 

An HR person is a part of various confidential discussions. He/ she should not reveal any critical information to anyone even if it is someone who is close to him. An HR should avoid getting involved in gossips. He should be the one who sets an example of employee behaviour.

While it is obvious that boundaries must be maintained, it is equally critical that HR is human. It is critical that HR is empowered in their job while also being approachable to employees, they remain friendly and maintain a level of professionalism at the same time. No one should feel neglected.

What are your thoughts? Does HR and friendship go hand-in-hand or not?

Posted in : Work Culture 
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