From cracking internal disputes to showing a united front to customers, HR is an indispensable discipline that is too often generalized and pushed out of mind.
Sometimes, HR is the only fine thread that prevents company-wide anarchy.
For an effective personnel selection in such a vital role, you need to understand the fact that it takes more than just a college degree to be a true professional in HR management.
Is the HR role changing?
The role of the human resources department has continually developed and expanded in the last few years.
Gone are the days when they just have to take care of the personnel selection process - recruiting, hiring, onboarding - and those tasks involving payroll or enforcing the rules.
For modern HR departments, more effective HR work implies ensuring a positive employer brand, creating initiatives to highlight employee engagement and productivity, and establishing relationships between the company and employees that last even beyond their tenure at the organization.
How do HRs work more efficiently?
Here are 5 effective HR tactics you can strategically implement for more effective HR work that helps your company and your people find both day-to-day and long-term success.
Let’s get to it.
Communication is an indispensable skill in almost every task, but especially so in more effective HR work.
Keeping everyone on the same page is a must in doing business; that’s why, as an HR manager, you need to report to your higher-up managers, other department heads, your own staff, other department staff, and even your past employees.
They need to know what’s happening at the company. In fact, they deserve to know what’s happening, at least at the big picture level.
You are required to give actionable information regarding the company. Therefore, ambiguity will only lead to distrust about the direction of the business.
For better personnel planning, it’s crucial that you find concrete ways to communicate with your employees on a regular basis.
Whether it’s through face-to-face meetings, video calls, company newsletters, e-mail updates, or anything in between, they want to hear from their leadership.
You need to regularly touch base with your people in order to keep tabs on everything and make sure the entire business stays on track.
Lastly, a chunk of communication success is largely attributed to being open to what others think.
Just because you’re enforcing policy doesn’t mean you should be too adamant in its pursuit. Listen to what your people think about both the policies and anything else they may have a problem with, and always take feedback on board.
This means, even if you don’t agree with someone’s opinion, you shouldn’t discourage them from voicing their views. This is a fundamental tip for achieving more effective HR work.
Staying organized is vital for effective personnel work.
Whether you’re looking at your physical or digital workspace, take the time to sort out your task list, organize your resources, and process your inbox. You can allocate just a few minutes or hours every week to do this.
This helps keep things neat and tidy, and it ensures that they can be easily found when needed.
This is especially helpful if you’re multitasking, which you probably do most of the days. You may find yourself having too many things to do that you forget where you’ve placed a single document that’s highly needed for the task at hand.
By staying organized, you are saving yourself and your team the trouble.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for any organization – since not everyone operates in the same manner – investing time into developing a system that works for you and your company is always a good idea.
Achieving more effective HR work is a bit of a balancing act.
One of your many tasks is solving internal disputes and/or dealing with problems concerning how your employees conduct themselves and perform their duties.
This means that you need to be firm but fair, especially when it concerns company policy.
You are meant to listen to the concerns of your employees but are also required to enforce company policy.
Simply put, there are times that it’s important to protect the individual, while other times, it’s essential to put the company first.
Make sure to never let company policy stop you from considering the context in which any violations occur. Always remember the “human” in “human resources,” but don’t hang back in laying down the law when it matters.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with the lowest rung or a manager – if someone’s crossing the border, you need to know when and how to enforce company rules.
Indeed, being a bit tough is the name of the game.
There are those situations when employees need boundaries. Hence, it’s crucial that they are firmly advised to stay within the parameters of the company.
By this, they need to know that their opinions are safe and are taken seriously.
When it comes to private matters, you should take great pains to have quiet, in-person meetings with employees. This isn’t just about ethics and legality, but this will also show your employees that you value discretion.
What’s more, exercising caution will enhance your reputation as a trusted and well-respected leader.
This is an important ingredient of a more effective personnel department.
In many cases, HR managers have to deal with situations that are ambiguous at worst.
In cases where there’s a gray area, it's important to know when to make an assertive decision yourself or colleagues or managers for help.
Therefore, to achieve effective HR work, you need to enhance your negotiation and mediation to effectively resolve conflicts.
Think of it this way: You want your employees to be honest and direct about the work they’re doing for you. Reciprocate respect by providing them with the information they need – especially when they ask about benefits, career development, and aligning personal goals with company goals.
Transparency is a good measure of more effective HR work.
Whether you’re explaining duties to a newbie, assessing the team’s work processes, or dealing with the gray areas of the company policy, you need to be specific and unequivocal.
And of course...
5. Lead by example
Show your team that you are as accountable to your own policies as everyone else, if not more.
Leading by example is a real challenge, but doing so can provide a template that your team can then follow.
There is nothing as hard (or as impossible) as enforcing rules which you yourself break. And trying to do so will only create condemnation toward your position.
So do yourself a favor and keep everyone else on your side by sticking to the same rules – it’ll make it so much easier to connect with employees when problems arise or when new policies and rules need to be brought around.