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10 Ways to Annoy Your HR Manager
HR Trends

10 Ways to Annoy Your HR Manager

Sharon Monteiro
December 15, 2022

Do you seriously want to know how to annoy your HR manager and get on their nerves? Turns out, annoying people isn’t so difficult. When you work in an office with a group of people, getting on each others nerves is an easy hill to climb. And getting on the nerves of the HR manager is oh so easy, considering they are humans too.

Many may think of them as heartless robots working on the behest of their corporate overlords. But, most of them are just like us. They may have differing goals, but their motivations are similar to ours - to do a good job, get a promotion, make a real difference at work and in the world, and build fulfilling relationships.

And contrary to popular belief, breathing down people’s necks and firing employees aren’t even enlisted in the duties of an HR professional’s job. In fact, they are the counsellors, advocates, process improvers, and compliance managers of the company.

Despite all that they do, do you still want to be that person who annoys your HR manager? Okay, then. Here are the top ten behaviours and actions that will guarantee to aggravate even the most forbearing HR professionals. 

Enjoy this lesson on how to irritate your HR staff. 

10 ways to annoy your HR manager

1. Giving HR the tough tasks

As if they weren’t already inundated with difficult tasks, one sure-fire way to annoy your HR manager is by giving them the responsibility to do the tough tasks. For instance, the manager conveniently taking the responsibility to inform the successful candidate about the good news of their hire, while tasking HR to ring up the unsuccessful ones. 

2. Being the no-good tattletale

There is a distinction between a concerned employee informant and a tattletale. HR struggles with tattletales who feel compelled to report any perceived unfairness or wrongdoing to HR. The challenge is to train these people, who, rather than taking responsibility and attempting to solve the problem themselves, come to HR for a quick fix. They expect HR to be the problem solvers for the tiniest of inconveniences. 

Annoy your HR manager

3. Failing to keep employee information up-to-date

HR managers get really peeved when employees fail to update their information on the employee information portal. For instance, when employees fail to update their expression of wish form for their pension or when they fail to update their personal information regarding beneficiary addresses. 

The unfortunate case in real life has been that many HR managers have had to deal with 9 or 10 situations in which a staff member died and, despite repeated requests from HR, had not updated their form or details.

4. Expecting Human Resources to clean up your messes

Another way to annoy your HR manager is by creating a mess of matters and expecting them to clean it up after you. You can annoy your HR manager by finding faults with HR even after overruling explicitly detailed HR instructions, falsifying company policies and causing havoc in the organisation, and then returning to HR to resolve the problem.

Annoy your HR manager

5. Not involving HR in planning and decision-making

Senior managers can irritate their HR managers by failing to include them in critical planning meetings and discussions. After making monumental strategic decisions which obviously would have taken weeks to develop, you can run by HR at the last moment to see if there are people issues you should be prepared for. In the end, HR is blamed for the issues that they were completely uninvolved in. 

6. Putting off involving HR until the last minute

Do you want to know how to really get under the skin of your HR manager? Then wait until you want to fire an employee. Forget asking for help on performance improvement coaching, any disciplinary action, or necessary documentation that has to accompany the decision prior to firing an employee. Managers can make matters worse by letting the problem go unresolved for months before contacting the HR manager. 

Annoy your HR manager

7. Failing to respond properly and timely

Here’s a good one: just don’t read and respond to information regarding employee benefits or any other important topic when the information was communicated via various formats repeatedly to all employees. This information would have come accompanied with instructions and deadlines for responses. HR might have even had summarized details of the information on a page and spoken about the needing the forms returned by a specific deadline. 

Then, months later, when it’s too late to address the problem, employees come along to HR saying, “I don’t know.” or, “Oh yeah, I got it but I didn’t read it.”

Such a behaviour is guaranteed to peeve HR managers. Whereas, the right thing to do would be to appreciate the efforts of the HR staff, to read, respond, and maintain the efforts to keep the information flowing. 

8. Failing to read simple instructions

Here’s another peeve that is similar to the previous one, where employees return to HR with instructions and a form, and without even trying to read them, ask, “What is this about?” Failing to read even the simplest instructions can certainly annoy your HR manager. 

Employees who make the effort to read and respond — rather than coming in and demanding the HR manager's time to tell you what the paper says — are greatly appreciated by HR staff members.

Annoy your HR manager

9. Expecting HR to bear the brunt of bad news and decisions

Need to provide bad news to an employee? Blame the decision on HR. A convenient excuse would sound like this: "I proposed a higher salary increase for you, but you know HR, they disagreed. If you're unhappy with your raise, talk to HR.”

Or here's one better: A decision has been made to reorganize a department with the manager being the sole participant of the discussion. They can blame the repercussions of the changes on HR, and the employees who have been disadvantaged by the changes or who are dissatisfied with them are referred to HR to find out why.

10. Expecting favourable treatment in order to avoid procedures

Annoy your HR manager by putting them in an awkward position. For instance, you can present a close friend or relative as the “perfect” candidate for an open position, and then feel affronted when the HR manager reminds them that standard hiring protocols must apply to them too. 

By failing to acknowledge the necessary protocols of the hiring system and the steps that must be followed for every potential employee, you not only annoy your HR manager, but also encourage discrimination in a fair, equitable process. 

Annoy your HR manager

Final Words

The ways to annoy HR managers number as many as the the days you work in your life. These are ten of the major ways HR managers were challenged by certain employee behaviours. Now that you are aware of these annoyances, here’s a sincere appeal to not get on the nerves of the HR staff and do the best to make their day streamlined, too.  

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October 25, 2021

A very inspiring list. Thanks for putting this together


October 25, 2021

This is such a great list of women leaders! More power to you all

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