I love these Forums, and reading others' queries has really helped me on a number of occasions, but..... I wonder how many other 'lurkers' are wary of posting a question due to the backlash they would expect to receive?
I've just read a post asking for some specific help. Three quarters of the responses *I felt* were berating why a certain approach would be taken, and how this isn't best practice, advisable, how other people would do things etc. Even of the quarter who did actually answer the question asked, there were still comments about it not being a positive step.
Is it just me that avoids asking a question, as I know I would get many more opinions rather than the actual help I need?
While many are lucky enough to work in an environment that has best practice at the heart of its HR operations, not all of us are. I'm in a standalone role within an SME where the MD does things his way - regardless of my opinion. Sometimes I get a win, and that gives me hope that with time, I can continue to change attitudes, but most of the time, I am left to highlight the risks of a certain course of action - but have to plough ahead regardless. Now, more than ever, I could do with some help or support, yet I'm wary of asking for any help from this community as I already know the barrage of negative opinions I'd face. And to be honest, I just don't have the strength to take a beating here, after I've already fought a fight and lost with the MD.
Please, please, don't jump to the conclusion that people asking for help are the ones who have made the decisions, or necessarily feel it's the best way forward. Some of us are simply doing what we've been instructed to do, having already pointed out the negative effects this may bring. The last thing we may be capable of doing is defending these actions to the community. We'll already have plenty of defending to do with our staff, who this actually affects.
If I could ask one thing from this community, it would be to think before responding to a post. Has the poster asked for help or opinion? Sometimes opinion and/or debate are exactly what is wanted. This community is invaluable for that aspect. But sometimes, people just ask for help with a particular issue. Please, try to look for what has been asked for before offering an opinion instead of answering the question posed.
Similarly, I frequently see posters berated for being involved in something that the responder decrees isn't their job, but a line manager's role instead. Again, all organisations are different. Some of us are in a role where the responsibility for all people tasks falls in the HR remit. We don't have line managers who manage these things - it's on us. So please, again, if you don't want to help by answering the question asked, please realise that you're certainly not helping by telling the poster that they shouldn't be asking, as it shouldn't be their job.
Anyway, essay over, but please think when responding to a post - "does this poster want my help, or my opinion?". It may lead to a lot of 'lurkers' becoming actual active members of the community, confident to pose any question they may have.