Statutory Warning: If you are an HR professional or an HR consultant reading this, know that this is not an attack on your way of life. We know and understand the myths and misconceptions that people have about HR. You know, the ones that start with ‘They are never around after 6:00 p.m.’ or our personal favourite ‘They don’t understand the business’. We’ve heard these and many more. Well, it’s time to get others to take HR seriously. But for that, just like anything else, you have to be the change in people management.
Making it mandatory that every individual adjusts to the work culture is just one aspect of your life. You are not the ‘warden’ and people know that. Apart from bearing responsibilities like recruiting, dealing with people matters, arranging for external resources to conduct training, deciding whether to outsource or not, you also play a role when it comes to maintaining harmony at the work place. You are from the team that multi-tasks & coordinates with everyone to ensure that employees are engaged.
So what should the course of action be? What can help alter this stereotypical mindset that HR professionals face every day?
Ditch being ‘politically correct’
Got you smiling have we? Be a friend, a guide, even a mentor to a certain extent, but never the superior. Also, HR teams know stuff. Before it gets rolled out. Your decisions matter and get people promoted or in some cases, demoted. It’s not like you have a task to remain mum you know. And if someone does not make it to the ‘bell curve’, tell them straight up. It might be ugly, but things will be more peaceful there on. Being politically correct all the time can not only leave a bad impression but also, take a toll on you as a person and can be counterproductive in people management.
Foreseeing versus Forecasting
Knowing comes from experience. Be more responsive. Give your colleagues the right amount of push to outlive their reckoned potential, to grow individually and within the organization. And if someone pressures you to recruit, ask them this “What would you prefer? A one month delay but getting someone who stays longer or someone who joins tomorrow but leaves next month?” Follow the answer and make sure you document this if someone chooses the latter.
Mission Employee Satisfaction
No one likes the ‘whispers you hear in corridors when you pass by or how the volume in the cafeteria goes down when HR joins you for lunch’. Try having lunch with different departments every week and involve yourself in people matters. Never stick to one group. Remember, your actions are judged the most. This also gives you an opportunity to keep your pulse on the work culture what’s really happening. If you have their trust, you will win the battle. You will need to take decisions that will impact others. For the good or for the bad. Remember, you cannot please everyone all the time. While employees will always appreciate if the decisions taken by HR are in their favour, getting people involved and extending your communication across all departments will ease the blow [in case you are about to give one]
Widen Your Perspective
Will a cross departmental training prove to be beneficial? It will. There is nothing wise about staying in your own pool of HR Think Tanks. Step out. Do a stint in another department and then come back. See the impact that creates. So what if you have never done Marketing before? Think in terms of keeping yourself in place of the employees’ and not the management. If an HR professional has the power, it needs to be utilized wisely.