HR – The Golden Child
HR managers can often find themselves placed on a corporate pedestal. The externally (and sometimes self) inflicted need to appear perfect, can at some points seem intangible, overwhelming, and a little bit counter-human. However, in order to maintain employee respect, trust and fellowship; professional integrity is of non-contingence. HR staff are needed to be seen as a knowledgeable and guarding figure; offering sense, understanding, wisdom and logic. So, although these attributes may appear somewhat God-like, knowing how and why to exhibit them will greatly enrich the lucidity of which you are able to integrate and implement within your business.
The Office Influencer
In school, the first person we would pursue to dissolve any play-ground disputes was usually our favourite teacher. We saw this individual as being intrinsically omniscient and benevolent, offering invaluable antidotes (and sometimes a, much needed hug) when we needed them the most. Of course, as we grew older, we became to understand that even our best-loved teachers were ultimately only-human, but the admiration we held for them refuses to cease.
Duly, organising a classroom of children and managing an office of adults are two very different procedures, however the principle of what effective is leadership remains. For your employees to seek and enact your professional advice, they need to be able to trust you. If you’re seen as wavering and unreliable; your input will be seen as nothing but futile. Why would anyone internalise the notions of someone they deem to be frivolous? Your professional input will instantly be dismissed as being derived from a feeble source, and therefore – irrelevant.
One way to evade this HR hole is to always practice what you preach. HR are sometimes needed to act as a sort of law-enforcement; subtly but successfully implementing company rules and regulations for their staff to follow. Nonetheless, if the person administering these administrations are themselves observed breaking the rules – the proposed directive will swiftly become annulled by its targeted recipients. So, for example, if your company has a smart dress code; try not to turn up to the office wearing trainers, because by the end of the week, most of your staff will be doing the exact same.
“A good person can make another person good; it means that goodness will elicit goodness in the society; other persons will also be good.” Bhumibol Adulyadej
Be Down to Earth
What you really need is for your employees to gravitate towards you; not away. On the one hand, it is essential that HR are respected as being a powerful and leading figure within its organisation, however, that by no means suggests that your staff should be quaking in their boots every time you visit their office. When your employees fear you as being a looming and transcending phantom-like presence, watching and judging their movements from a dark cloud in the sky – it is highly unlikely that they will be inclined to build a proactive and genuine relationship with you, because, quite frankly – they won’t really like you.
To be identified as approachable and welcomed by your employees, you firstly need to properly immerse yourself into their team and become one of them.
This can be practiced by being visibly attentive towards their thoughts and feelings. Regularly meet with your staff, ask for any input they may want to contribute towards the business, and enquire into whether there is anything you can do to improve their work experience. Simultaneously, remain cautious as not to overstep the boundaries by seeming invasive and overbearing. Also, always refrain from developing into a “people pleaser”. It is still HR’s responsibility to remain impartial towards office matters, so try to find the perfect balance.
Think, Think, Think
The vast majority of employee centred analytics and procedures are conducted by HR. This means that when an unforeseen employee orientated problem arises (which they very often do); it is left to HR to devise a quick solution. Although you may feel pressure to produce an immediate remedy, it is always imperative to think thoroughly and theoretically before making any executive decision.
For example, there are highly regulated laws regarding staff dismissal that must be adhered to. Employees are legally entitled to a one-week notice period before terminating their contract – if the employee has been working for a company between the time of one month and two years. This notice period then increases by a week for every completed year of employment within an organisation – up to a maximum of twelve weeks. An employer is only permitted to dismiss an employee without any notice, if that employee has acted in a way that is considered to beof gross misconduct. These exceptions include: theft, fraud and acts of violence.
So, even if there is a dire and impromptu want to release a member of staff from your organization, but they have not breached any of the terms of gross misconduct – you must abstain from acting arbitrarily. HR need to consider any legal and reputational repercussions of every decision they make – in order to avoid any consequential detriment to their organisation.
So, whilst portraying the “perfect” image may sometimes seem strenuous – it’s also a part of the job. Invite your team to want to work with you, while still asserting authority covertly and strategically, in order to create an amicable and productive work environment for yourself and for your team.