The best of Human Resources. That tag line has stopped HR pros in their tracks for years. We want to know that secret sauce, that magic, that easy fix. The good news is that there is such a recipe for the best of HR, but is it easy? Nope.
Communication – An underestimated value of HR is the ability to bring healthy communication to the forefront. Change management, conflict management, organizational development, training, employee discipline, onboarding (do I need to go on?) …all require great communication. Human Resources sits as a hub of communication. As professionals we have to take that responsibility seriously and put the time into crafting the verbiage necessary for the situation. Using the same templated approach might not work any longer. Endeavor to make words matter, explain, heal and encourage.
Competency Alignment – Check your folks. Who is where? Why are they there? Establishing an understanding of needed skills and aptitudes for each role and then ensuring those doing the work can is vital to HR. We plug the hole so often that we have belittled the value of the role. Each person has abilities. Our job is to make sure they are aligning with the company’s needs and mission. Test, assess and alter pathways. Our organizations are organisms; they are alive, and we have to adjust to environmental changes, business viability strategies and technological advancements. Our people may not see what’s coming, but we should.
Courage – Human Resources can be the catalyst to some great changes and movements. This isn’t merely for the sake of the latest and greatest cause, but rather for the health of people and companies. We’re going to need to have tough conversations with leadership, with line-level employees, with vendors, with government, with any area that impacts the work to be done and the influence it’s meant to have. And ask when you don’t know something. Bravery is not stupidity. Pretending to be something you’re are not substantially weakens your ability to have an impact at work. Trust is broken and confidence is shaken. Get the assistance you need, rally a team around you, and bravely push for the best and right next steps.
Creativity – Don’t stop innovating. That’s a daily discipline. Human Resources is a funnel for information, problems, people and processes. Pull them together and cultivate a vision for how to best use them all. Our ability to dream and to experiment is something our organizations need us to do, even if they aren’t asking us to do it. The viewpoint we have must be added to the mix of perspectives for leadership. We might not always win every battle, but we influence the war. Innovation changes circumstances, reflects culture and transforms individuals.
And while there are subsets and asterisks to apply to these areas, digest what’s here first. Human Resources is a large endeavor and responsibility. To be taken more seriously, we need to pursue relentlessly the best approaches, information and teaching for developmental purposes. HR can be better each day by applying effort in each of these areas. Keep this recipe card in hand and gather the ingredients you need. You’re the Top Chef in your organizations so work that kitchen!