HR makes or implements decisions that impact on people, it's their role. PIP's, terminations, disciplinary measures etc,. all of these must have an emotional impact on the HR staff. What strategies can they use to cope with the stress. Is it best to view people impersonally without empathising and just shrug it off?
I have sacked people and had them on their knees crying, begging for another chance and I've found it upsetting because I know the guy won't get another job and he has a family to support. But I can deal with it because he stole MY money which is basically taking the food out of MY kids mouths, I own my business.
But professional HR people must deal with several of these scenarios every year and it's not their money. In my country with high unemployment HR are possibly a bit more lenient than some others because people have been known to end their lives over being sacked. So the decision can be very stressful for the people involved. I'm wondering how they cope with it, and if they either get inured over time or if there is a trend to change careers after a while.
( 6 months ago )
In larger companies, there is a very strong "Just following policy" vibe in HR. This is partly because it works to emotionally abdicate responsibility, since you can't do anything different anyways. That's a very old trick employed by various people throughout history when it comes to making people do things they may find to weigh on their conscience.
Ultimately though, it breaks down to not everybody can be HR. HR is looking out for the interests of the company, not necessarily the interests of the employees. When these align, great, but often times they don't.
It not being your money also makes it easier to follow a strictly defined procedure when handling firings - you haven't lost anything and firing someone is just your job, and that's that.
Ultimately its much of becoming accustomed to doing these things often.