If you’re a seasoned HR professional, you know how challenging the day-to-day of the job can be. You have to wear multiple hats — by providing on-boarding, benefits, and training to employees, handling any concerns that may come up and making sure employee satisfaction and competency is at an overall high. In a way, you’re the motor that helps the company car run smoothly.
Truth be told, HR is tricky business. A company can flourish or flounder under the way an HR department and its managers run. While this responsibility may sound daunting, being an HR manager means you have the ability to make an incredible difference for employees across an entire company.
Make sure you’re fine-tuning these proven habits to help you excel as an HR professional, thus improving the work lives of the employees around you.
When it’s time to search for candidates to fill an open position, plenty of HR managers go looking for outside talent — but don’t forget about the talent sitting in your own building. Would this new position be a great opportunity for one of your coworkers to grow into? Does the person at the cubicle next door have the skillset required for this new role?
The happiest employees are individuals who have opportunities for growth and development within their company — they know they are valued and have a chance to step up in their career. Make the habit of focusing on employee growth and you will improve retention, as well as bolster work culture and satisfaction.
The time will come when an employee reaches out about a problem you’ve heard of before. When this happens, it’s easy to dismiss the problem and hurry to move on with the day. However, each employee is unique and handles situations differently. If he or she came to you with a problem, it’s probably not something they take lightly.
Hear out each employee you meet with and offer support — and if possible, a solution. Make sure to restate what they say. This will help you become a better listener and make the employee feel understood. After all, the best leaders are great listeners.
One important way to help fellow employees be successful is to make sure they are happy. Nothing boosts employee happiness like showing employee appreciation and celebrating the wins in the workplace, both big and small. This is a project HR leaders from great, well-known companies take on with enthusiasm.
While not all organizations can bring in an on-site masseuse or take their team across the country for a company-sponsored getaway, there are smaller ways to show appreciation. A free lunch, personalized thank you notes, public recognition and other smaller ideas do the trick just fine.
As an HR professional, you find out quickly that you can see aspects of the company no one else does. You are connected with employees in all departments, ranging from top executives to entry-level new hires. Once you get settled, you should know what the employees want and need better than anyone else in the building.
So there’s no reason to spend most of your time waiting to do what the CEO asks — take action and make improvements when and where necessary. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and so will you. But you’re bound to end up with a more successful workplace by trusting your instincts and creating valuable input.
Finally, one of the most important ways for an HR department to succeed is to communicate their mission and news in a successful and appropriate manner. This is why HR often has a communications team — but it’s important to make sure everyone in the department builds these skills.
Using good communication skills can be as small as knowing when to send an email versus posting office flyers. It’s also critical when having to speak out about larger, unsavory issues, such as company lawsuits or financial instability.
Being able to speak with transparency, encouragement and discretion can make or break an employee’s experience when he or she looks to you for information and guidance.
Working as an HR professional, you must take notice of the needs of all the employees in the office — from the CEO and CFO to new individual contributors. While you can’t please everyone, focusing all attention to some groups and issues and no attention to others is bound to create an unsatisfactory work environment.
But if you practice these great habits as an HR manager, wearing multiple hats and being a positive resource in the company can come easily…even if the company car happens to go off the road for a bit.
Main image courtesy of iPrice Group.