You have heard the term “picking and choosing your battles?” Some employees pride themselves in getting what they want no matter how much of a scene or nuisance they make of themselves. Every issue, regardless of how big or how small is battled as a matter of “principle.” It does not matter if the fight is even their own. These people, otherwise known as Human Resources nightmares, feel the need to stand up and declare their displeasure with every policy, every change. They especially take pride in letting management know their displeasure. Are you a member of this group? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what you stand to gain?
To understand the concept of being an HR nightmare, it is necessary to understand the importance of picking and choosing battles. While you may not mind that HR cringes when they hear your name, what have you truly gained? An HR nightmare is someone who has made a name for themselves all the way up the chain of command and not in a good way. As a nightmare, you have certainly sealed your fate and career. Of course you may have achieved your goal as having everyone in HR know your name, but you are far from a favorite.
Now that you understand the definition of a Human Resources nightmare, it is necessary to delve into the reasons behind why you may feel the need to constantly raise issues. Many employees feel the need to take up for the underdog, but in reality did anyone ever ask you? It is important to realize there are times when people do not necessarily want you to “take up their cause.” There will be many times you are not privy to all the details. Extenuating circumstances may make certain decisions necessary, so while you may believe that you are helping, you are, in fact hindering progress. If it is not your business or does not directly affect you, you should refrain from entering into the fray.
Are there consequences to being the Human Resources nightmare? Absolutely – future promotions, salary increases, job security even future reference checks can all be high consequences to pay for being a nightmare. While you may think you can charge discrimination or retaliation, be careful. Many people who feel they can be an HR nightmare and there are no consequences, that HR is perhaps “scared” of them. Don’t feed into that myth. Understand that even high performance performers with poor attitudes may be short lived within any organization. In a time when employers are looking toward employee morale, high performers are now easy to come by. This is especially important if you receive a lot of complaints from peers. Also consider downsizing, who do you think will be the first to go?
What should you do if you discover you are actually a recognized Human Resources nightmare? As long as you acknowledge you have stepped out of line upon occasion, there is still hope. The first step is to go to work and do your work. Stay out of office situations that do not concern you. Realize that you may not have all pertinent information, therefore cannot talk intelligently about the situation. Second, do not jump at every opportunity to fuss, complain and argue. One more cliché? “You can catch more flies with honey…”