For every yin, there is a yang, and such is true in the world of Human Resources.
Sure, you have to “like people” to be in HR but you also have to provide honest consultation to employees and business leaders who may need frank counsel.
And yes, HR folks should be talking with their leadership counterparts about employee engagement because it is key to a successful, productive business. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to force an employer to run a democracy!
You see, here lies the misunderstood world of HR… where nothing is black and white. We are talking about dealing with humans, right!?
Everyone has a HR nightmare or two (or a couple hundred) to share. Your HR nightmares cross the spectrum of funny, sad, illegal, crazy, terrible, boring, disturbing, wild, unethical or dumbfounding! Lucky for you, there are people, like me, who enjoy these emotional problem-solving people rollercoasters.
And so, we begin our journey on unraveling why it is that a good HR person is worth their weight in gold. A good HR person will help you avoid a nightmare in the first place.
Let’s look at a few examples:
The employee who’s toxic to the office vibe. We have all worked with a jerk in our organization who is passive-aggressive or complains about most things… or who is actually aggressive-aggressive. Rather than allow this person to continue influencing team morale – and, ultimately, productivity and client experience – in a negative way, the manager needs to address it.
Although conflict is not natural for most, preparation makes delivering feedback about a person’s behaviors practiced and, therefore, a little easier. A HR leader can help managers prepare for feedback conversations, whether it’s presented informally, formally or both.
It’s important to consider what’s happening in the person’s life outside of work, what feedback has been delivered to date (and by whom) and how the manager should anticipate the feedback to be received.
Managerial courage and transparent conversations will either transform or sequester this person. In the case of the latter, it’s time for some process-oriented performance management conversations.
People don’t appreciate the impact of their work. “I tell them what to do, every day.” – average office manager, owner, CEO, leader when asked if people have objectives.
Telling people tasks they need to do isn’t very motivating. Most people want to understand the “why” behind the tasks they’re completing and the connection between their job and the goals of the unit or company.
A HR leader can help their management colleagues structure regular one-on-one meetings with employees, so the employee/company mission connection is made regularly. HR can also help facilitate team meetings or huddles to include business updates, share customer outcomes or coordinate guest speakers that touch on mission-centric messages.
When each team member understands the impact of their work on the organization’s performance, on co-workers and on clients, they’re likely to both work harder and enjoy their work more.
Staff burnout. Did you know there are tools out there to help you measure staff burnout? But, just like any other assessment, you actually have to do something with the results!
A good HR leader can help the organization identify staff burnout that’s balanced with business strategy and create an action plan to decrease or eliminate stress factors in an organization.
Creating a work experience that is positive for both employees and the bottom line is far from an impossible task. If you’re ready to start addressing some of your HR nightmares and start making positive and productive change, give Leath HR Group a call!
After graduating from the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State, Lisa gained generalist and benefits experience at an intellectual property law firm in Manhattan. From there, she changed industries to both non-union and union large manufacturing facilities with a Fortune 300 company at multiple plants across North Carolina in lead Labor Relations and HR Manager roles. After eight great years, she moved on to lead and transform a HR function at an international pharmaceutical organization with seven global locations. Most recently, Lisa has been spending time working as an outsourced HR leader with pharmaceutical companies, healthcare, technology companies, start-ups and non-profits. No matter the business or industry, the approach over her career in Human Resources has remained consistent – use bench-marked best practices to tailor pragmatic HR solutions to specific industries or situations. She has a reputation for building great HR processes and strategic direction for businesses and demanding clients. Lisa is a Senior Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resource Management.