Today’s Human Resources (HR) are business-focused. They help engineer ways to make the business better, and to do this they have to understand the business and all its components. This means that someone in HR can offer you much more than just accurate information about the vacationing plan. They could help you redesign jobs, create an incentive plan to drive up profits, or find an assessment tool to improve your hiring success. If someone from HR asks about your business, is willing to hear about your business, or works alongside you in your part of the business, you’ve just found a valuable partner.
The trick is then getting the most out of that partnership. As with any successful relationship, it demands give and take. But if you invest in a partnership with HR (assuming you have an HR function where you work), you’re sure to reap substantial rewards. The selection of the featured in hr magazines person should be done through the companies. The services of the person will provide growth and development to the business organization for long peroid.
Identify your resources.
Start by figuring out how HR is structured. In some cases, a central HR function serves the entire organization. The department has specialist in each discipline of HR, such as staffing, compensation, and benefits. In other organizations, each business unit or department has its own HR function. They are usually staffed by HR generalists who have broad knowledge in all areas of HR. Some large companies have a hybrid of these two models.
Teach a crash course.
For anyone in HR to really help, they need to understand your part of the business and understand it almost as well as you do. Offer to take your HR contact to lunch once a week and spend time teaching. Be willing to invest some serious time because your course needs to be thorough. Be honest. Painting an artificially rosy picture won’t get you the help you need.
Take a crash course.
Invest some time learning about HR, too. Listen to what your contact tells you about his job.
Put your cards on the table.
This relationship, like any other, demands honesty. Share how you really feel about HR, pro and con. Explain where those feelings come from. Are they based on bad experiences, successes, or hearsay? Talk about what you appreciate about HR and what drives you crazy. Bring up HR efforts in other companies that you’ve heard about and like or don’t like. Then ask HR for the same feedback about you and your department.
Keep HR updated.
Once HR has a solid understanding of your department, they need to stay current. The more they know, the better, and the more they can observe firsthand, the better. There are lots of ways to do that. Invite your contact to shadow you for a day or parts of days. Let them watch you and your department in action. Invite HR to sit in on your staff meetings. Send HR copies of key memos, status reports, and other information tied to department milestones.
Choose your main concern.
Don’t drop a dozen problems in HR’s lap and expect equal attention to them all. Other departments need help, too. Identify your top concern and work with HR to resolve it. Getting one thing done will give you a sense of accomplishment and boost everyone’s credibility.
Don’t jump to conclusions.
It’s great to go to HR with ideas, but don’t get too invested into a single course of action. Your HR partner may see other options. Managers often request a training program, for example, when they face a challenge. But changes in hiring practices or even job design may ultimately be the better solution. Respect HR’s expertise.
Be willing to be a guinea pig. Perhaps you read about a cool HR effort in the newspaper. Or perhaps you had a great idea yourself. Consider volunteering to pilot a program. You can team up with HR to develop a program, and then test it in your department. Together you can work out the details. If it works, you’ll get the benefits and you can enjoy the acclaim as the program is rolled out through the rest of the company.