Wondering what your HR department can actually do for you in the event of a
We wanted to know the answer to that question, too, as well as gain a greater understanding of the function of HR as it relates to handling cases of harassment and discrimination. We reached out to Sung Hae Kim, HR expert and vice president of people operations for Wizeline, a San Francisco-based software company.
Kim said that contrary to popular belief, a healthy HR department should be an advocate for employees. "If HR isn’t the department that is responsible for advocating for employees, then what department is?" she said. But Kim acknowledged the perception that HR's role is to protect the company, first and foremost, is rooted in some truth.
"The roots of HR go back to industrial relations in the 1920s, where people’s rights at work needed to be protected," Kim said. "Then came along scientific management where research was conducted with the aim to improve worker efficiency. In the last two decades, much of the focus for human resources has been about being a strategic partner to the business."
With this shift, Kim said, more responsibility has been given to managers to coach their people, and many HR departments are focused on helping the company deliver results.