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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sometimes We Just Stand There and Take It

One of the bedrock values that we live by in our HR department is the sanctity of confidential information. Whatever we know, we don't talk about. Anytime someone asks me if something is in confidence I always say the same thing, "If I hear in our conversation a violation of the law or significant violation of company policy I have to put on my "Agent of the Company" hat; otherwise what you say here, stays here."

That applies not only to information we know about employees, but also candidates and former employees. We adhere to this value because trust and confidence are the currency with which we do our business in the company. We never forget that and this is mostly a good thing.

I say mostly because there are times when it really bites us.

Not everyone who leaves us tells the truth about why they left. Not everyone who fails to get hired tells the truth about why they didn't. Sometimes an employee with an unfavorable outcome needs a face for their disappointment. Oftentimes that's us and we know that it comes with the territory.

So when this happens we have a choice to make; defend ourselves and reveal facts that are confidential, or stand there and say nothing. We choose the latter, because if we'd release their information to make us look better you could rationally reason that we'd release your information if it benefited us. We just don't do that.

So if you hear some horrible story about how someone was treated terribly by the Bible Company just remember this: the fact that we're not talking has nothing to do with the situation and everything to do with who we are as professionals.

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