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13 tips for HR professionals with critical spirits

13 tips for HR professionals with critical spirits

During my career I have observed human resource coworkers who took their position as a license to be constantly critical of people within the organization.  As self-appointed watch-dogs of poor performers in the organization, my HR coworkers would devote much of their time and energy finding fault and criticizing employees and leaders from various departments who they subjectively deemed dead weight.

It is not good to be around critical people 24/7.  This spirit of criticism rubs off on others who are willing to listen and participate. Even if the overly critical HR team members are trying to do what’s best in their mind for the company, a constant stream of criticism fills the department like a toxic gas, and before you know it, the entire team is criticizing and finding fault with various employees.

This criticizing spirit will also turn inward and HR coworkers will begin criticizing one another. It’s a nasty habit that creates confusion and diverts your attention from what is important.

The spirit of criticism creates mistrust within an organization and diverts attention to non-productive activities. A company cannot create a great workplace with an HR group that is known as critical and judgmental.

Unless the actions of an employee are overtly obvious, illegal, or a direct disregard of an important company policy, treat everyone with trust and respect, assume the best, and leave your critical spirit at home, or even better, rid it totally from your life.

As an HR professional, get rid of your destructive critical spirit and follow these tips for improving your organization:

  1. Stop sharing your critical judgments of other leaders and employees.
  2. A leader will eventually come to HR when there is an issue with an employee.
  3. An employee will come to HR when there is an issue with a leader.
  4. Don’t go looking for trouble.
  5. HR is not your company’s spy organization.
  6. Be cognizant of the environment, but don’t stir things up.
  7. Focus on the positive aspects of your people and company.
  8. Reward good behavior.
  9. Get to know your employees and families.
  10. Show a sincere concern for people to help build trusting relationships.
  11. Destroy criticism with trust.
  12. Always be honest and fair. Treat others as you would want to be treated.
  13. Develop a transformative learning session called, “How You Can Help Build a Great Workplace,” and deliver it to all leaders, HR staff, employees, and new employees when they are hired.



Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.


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