Now that you know what issues to take to HR, there are a few concerns to not harass your poor human resources department with. Here are the times you shouldn’t go to human resources with a problem.
When you haven’t tried resolving the issue yourself first.
If your cubemate plays Pitbull’s songs a little too loudly, don’t whine to HR unless you’ve asked her to plug her headphones in. Of course, this doesn’t apply if it’s a matter like sexual harassment or discrimination or the like, but for minor problems? Be a grown up first before being a rat.
When you haven’t done any research on the issue, especially a salary problem.
If you think your salary is too low, be sure to look up competitor salaries and to make sure your job description is reflective of what you actually do. If not, human resources won’t really be able to help you–or may not want to, per instructions from higher ups.
When you’re actually the problem.
And you might be. If you think everyone in your office is mean, and if your definition of a mean boss is being told to get to work on time and not disappear for a two-hour lunch break or someone with better credentials getting promoted before you do, chances are HR can’t help you. But maybe a Dr. Phil can.