Human resources is something every company needs and will always need. Companies will always need a resource for solving internal issues problems and keeping the office environment productive and engaging. But the job isn’t easy. It’s hard manage a large group of employees with diverse backgrounds, goals, interests, and ways of communicating. It takes a lot of fines in order to navigate through every combination of problems that can arise at a given company, and most HR professionals are always ready to listen if there’s new advice available. Some of you have probably heard these before, and some of you probably haven’t, but here are four tips for I’ve picked up along the way that could make your day-to-day a little easier.
1. Embrace Feedback
Speaking with disgruntled employees face-to-face and truly listening to their concerns doesn’t just comfort and reassure the employee, it always provides you with valuable insight into potential problems within the company. If you’re wondering what your team should be focusing on to improve retention, employee happiness, and productivity, chances are the best way to figure that out is to talk to the employees yourself. People want to feel heard, and they want their voice to matter. One of the biggest mistakes you can make working in HR is not listening. Of course you can’t please everyone and sometimes you really can’t give an employee the solution they want, but there is usually some room for improvement and problem solving.
2. Be Picky About Your Team
When you are developing an HR team, it is key to surround yourself with individuals who are equal or better than you at their job. Hiring team members who are not up to par can hold back the team and hurt the company as a whole over time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the workload and simply want to get “butts in seats” in order to have some more hands on deck, but in the long run this won’t help you get your organization any more under control, and it certainly won’t make your company a high performer. Hiring the wrong person is an important mistake to avoid. Take your time in hiring, and don’t let the day-to-day pile of work make you speed up your decision.
3. Become a Master of Something, Not Just a Jack of All Trades
There are so many subdivisions of HR that it’s easy to get distracted trying to learn them all, all the while ending up not that great at any. Mastering at least one area of HR can really set you apart from the rest of the “generalists.” Of course it is important to understand their functions and be able to manage others who are working on these other parts of the profession, but it’s mastering one will always be a chance for you to shine and make the biggest difference possible with your time and energy
4. Know Your Company
It’s important to deal with employees as individuals, but you always need to have a bigger picture in mind, specifically based on the goals and identity of the company you’re working in. Here are some primary things all HR professionals should know about their company:
- The company’s current share price (if its is publicly traded)
- Profit (bottom line) over the last two years
- Revenue growth (top line) over the last two years
- Key productivity (cost management) strategies
- Primary product brands or services offered
- How the company makes money
- How customers are being satisfied
- How the product is manufactured or service is delivered
- How products/services are developed, marketed, and sold
- Customer retention and attraction strategies
- Key suppliers and customers
- What gives your company a competitive advantage
These are just a few tips to follow, and of course I’ll be writing about many more that are more specific to certain areas of HR. But from a high-level, these are my top 4 tips you should start following today.
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