Expert Panel

Focus on these things to succeed in Human Resources

What to Expect From Human Resources


Human Resources is a tough job, and often unappreciated.  Employees complain that HR does not do enough to help their job growth.  Managers complain that they have to do everything themselves.  Human Resource professionals complain that they get pulled into everything too late to have any impact.


Does any of this sound familiar? 


Here are Six Communication tactics Human Resource professionals should utilize to ensure success in their job.


ONE:  Know the people who work in your company and have them know you.

Too often Human Resource personnel know employees on paper but not in person.  One way to achieve a productive and mutual relationship is to ensure employees know you as well.  This interaction will create a confidence and trust which is essential for developing a culture of accountability.  You can do this is by designating one hour a day to conduct meetings for employees that set up appointments with you, and one hour for you to conduct appointments you establish with random employees.  The constant flow of talent will encourage positive dialog and diffuse any fear of being called into the HR office!  If you set the ground rules for these discussions, they will not be sessions to complain, but sessions to be constructive about professional growth. Limit discussions to 10-15 minutes to ensure positive dialog, and document interactions so you can follow up.


TWO: Know the supervisors and managers in your company.

These are the people that are entrusted with the livelihood of the company.  Many times they have not had formal training or they just need support and don’t want to ask for it.  If you make it a point to meet with them one on one a few times a year to help them be better at professional development, you will both benefit from the experience.  Remember to keep a consistent message.  Your goal is to have a consistency in the experience employees have with their supervisors; this will build a more fulfilling and productive company culture.  It will also help you when bringing in new talent.


THREE: Know what your company does.

You must have a good understanding of your company’s products or services, as well as how the products or services are produced and managed.  Without this knowledge you cannot properly acquire compatible talent.  It is not enough to leave it to the hiring manager, take the time to learn so that you can properly vet candidates.


FOUR: Align yourself with Executive Leadership.

Understand the strategic plans of your executive team, and ensure that your services and messages to the workforce are aligned.  Unfortunately many times HR is brought in too late; it is your responsibility to ensure this is not the case.  The more tapped into the company you are on an ongoing basis, the more likely your executive leadership will rely on you in the beginning.  This goes for individual managers as well.


FIVE: Proactively conduct external and internal research.

Know the hiring practices and pay policies in your industry and in your local community, compare them to your own.  Participate in local organizations that will enable you to share data.  Create a network of headhunters, lawyers, union negotiators (if you are unionized), benefit providers, as well as HR professionals in your area, so that you have support and resources to pull from when you need it.  Also know the training programs that are available.  If you get management buy-in in advance for “approved” programs, you will be able to have a qualified list of training that will be easier to implement on a more proactive basis.


SIX: Track your results.

You are spending money on training, payroll, consultants, lawyers, benefits etc.  You should be able to tie your spending to the success of your company.  Share these results with your Executive Leadership and you will most likely get more support for your actions.  You should also share your results with managers who can cheer-lead for your cause.  When they see the value of your efforts, they will push to fund your projects because of the impact it has on their own team.


There are countless things Human Resource professionals do in their day-to-day, however lack of communication with employees and other department managers is often the cause of misunderstanding and frustration.  By using these six communication tactics, HR professionals can proactively improve their alignment with others in the organization.  It is also useful for professionals outside of HR to understand these skills and initiate dialog to improve their own relationship with HR.




Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


Do you have a question for Lisa?  Post it in our Executive Leadership Community, she will be happy to help: Ask an Expert


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