HR Carnival – How Would I Make HR Better?
This post is part of the HR Carnival, a compilation of HR Blogs hosted this month by Steve Browne, SHRM-SCP, SPHR. Steve is, quite possibly, the coolest HR professional you’ll ever meet and he’s kicking off the HR Carnival on Jan. 15. Check out his site, Everyday People, on Wednesday to see other blogs following the same theme.
How Would I Make HR Better?
Before you read on, know I am a consultant.
Before you read on, know I haven’t done what you may consider “real” Human Resources work in a long time.
Before you read on, know I serve as a mentor to those who do.
Before you read on, know I am a 20 year Human Resources professional and remain a committed advocate for our profession.
So, what advice could someone like me give regarding make Human Resources better?
Commit to what I believe are the four main purposes of any Human Resources program:
1. Increase Communication and Engagement
I know, I know – this is general. I don’t want you to simplify it nor do I want you to make it more complicated than it is. I just believe you should commit to strategies, activities and actions that increase the interaction of the workforce. Whether it’s up-down, down-up or side-ways communication, I want you to ensure it is active, honest, positive and respectful.
What you’ll find is that positive engagement will naturally follow, and I believe you should then commit to recognizing, cultivating and capitalizing on that engagement the moment it arrives.
2. Enhance Leadership
Strengthen, exalt, improve, amplify…whatever it takes. I want you to commit to building an exemplary leadership team.
How? Mentor them, train them and guide them. Provide data that helps them make positive and effective decisions for their teams. Support them when they falter or otherwise screw things up. Model positive behavior AT ALL TIMES to ensure your proverbial closet is clean and tidy because trust me, you’ll need to open that door when the rogue manager pushes back.
And, speaking of going rogue, reach out and help the manager who most frustrates you, the one who you have avoided for months or years. Be the better leader and commit to building the bridge in order to enhance the community.
3. Increase Bottom Line
Yes, yes, I know you work in what has been considered a mere cost center but bust out of that paradigm and commit to proving that a penny saved is a penny earned.
Help your managers find cost savings through clearer role identification, process improvement and efficiencies and heightened engagement and communication. Improve onboarding and orientation, analyze and implement measures to reduce turnover, conduct effective needs analysis so you can target skill development opportunities and quit wasting money on training that has no value. Develop effective recognition and reward programs and help leaders engage in sincere and value-added performance management activities.
And while you’re at it, commit to your own department’s cost savings. Model good behavior and practices by being good stewards of your organization’s resources!
4. Decrease Risk
I know that sometimes, Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head in the workplace, and I’m sorry because often, Human Resources gets blamed or takes the heat. Your due diligence is needed.
Commit to creating effective workplace policies that are clear, up-to-date and relevant. Commit to ensuring employees are not just well trained and knowledgeable but are interested and dedicated to doing the right thing to minimize personal and organizational liability. Make certain your managers understand the risk of their decisions and actions and utilize appropriate rhetoric and persuasion to encourage proper behavior and decision making.