Most of us know the saying; “The HR Department is the backbone of any Company.” I would go further and state that the HR Manager is the backbone of any HR Department. Coming from an HR background myself, I have experienced first-hand the good, the bad, and the ugly of this profession. I fervently believe that the HR Department and overall morale of Employees, is only as good as the one who sits at the top making the daily decisions regarding all Employee related matters. Here are some personal observations on what you need to know if your goal is to be the one running this very important unit of an Organisation.
#1: Are you a ‘people’s person.’ Are you able to interact with almost any type of personality? Are you seen as charismatic, one who is known for being fair and loyal to Employees and the Company? Are you able to connect with Employees as to get your point across? Congratulations, you are probably one of the few HR Managers that deserves to be in this role.
#2: Communication, communication, communication…As an HR Manager you will have to constantly share ideas, thoughts, as well as strategies with your team. Employees need to understand the importance of the Company’s goals, and as an strong leader you will have to utilise effective communication skills that will relay that message. Sharing the Company’s beliefs more efficiently will allow you to act upon their Department Managers’ insight in preventing potential problems.
#3: Honesty (…and Discretion) is always the best policy: Both honesty and discretion are vitally important to Employees. If your team know what is expected of them and you, at the same time, recognise their efforts and achievements, I guarantee you will have a motivated and committed team that would be willing to move mountains for you when needed.
#4: Be a motivator…not an irritator: HR Managers need to constantly motivate their teams and other Company Employees. You would have to be able to inspire them to achieve their assigned goals with satisfaction. Motivation needs to be from the heart and not just because you want to get the job done.
#5: I beg your pardon, what did you say about listening? You had a busy day, and that Employee that normally comes to you with various issues (some of the time not even work related), is sitting in front of you again. You have to return a phone call and there is a Department Manager waiting to see you. You feel yourself steering the conversation into a close. The greatest HR Manager understands that people come to HR to be heard. Most of the time it’s better to just listen and let the other person speak. And when I say listen, I mean really listen. Keep yourself from tending to look at your watch every 5 minutes. Not only will the person in front of you really feel that you are there to assist them with their particular problem, but you will also be reputed for being a Manager that really cares for his/her Employees. Be the type of Manager who’s door is always open for your team.
#6: Lights, camera, spotlight! HR is a support department. Ok, in a perfect world, it is suppose to be a support department. I have seen too many times how someone else’s success resulted in meaningless bickering and gossip. If you are fortunate enough to be the head of an HR Department with Employees that really care for their team members, you are one of the lucky few. If you, as the leader, allow an Employee their time in the spotlight…not just to show that you are the better person, but because you are really happy for them and would love nothing more than to see them succeed, you are a perfect fit for this role.
#7: Show respect, even when you are not respected: Sometimes people who are not doing their jobs well are the ones who will blame Management. This can make even the most controlled type of personalities hot under the collar. Make sure that you keep control of the situation by showing respect to this person, even if he/she is at fault. Keep your dignity, but most of all, keep your composure in front of other Employees.
#8: Dr. Jackel…no, it’s Mr (or Mrs) Hyde! Are you known for displaying more than one personality in an 8 hour work day? I know all too well the feeling of dreading to go into the HR Manager’s office for fear of not knowing which personality you will have to interact with at that particular moment. A great HR Manager is always constant, not wavering, and holds by impeccable personal and professional work ethics.