Some of my non-HR audience members, may be tempted to think “Why would I care if HR loves me?” Let me explain why you should care.
At most companies HR works closely with your manager and their manager advising them on decisions related to hiring, firing, promoting and developing their teams (Note, I said most. Some companies still relegate their HR department to payroll only). It is in your best interest that your name generates positive thoughts!
So what can you do to ensure you name generates those positive thoughts? This is actually very simple and easy:
1. Listen with an open mind – this doesn’t mean you agree with everything said, but you should listen with an open mind. 99% of HR pro’s want to help you and your team succeed; let them!
2. Answer questions – The best HR pro’s want to learn your business and help you and your team. When they ask questions it isn’t about being nosy, most really want to know about your business. The more they know the more they can tailor solutions for your circumstances.
3. Don’t hold onto employee issues until something blows up – Procrastination doesn’t help solve problems. Letting employee relations issues simmer until they blow up causes big problems that often result in formal investigations (ewww) or lawsuits in a worst case scenario.
4. Take the process seriously – Before you blow up and tell me that performance management forms are awful…please know that it is very unlikely that the HR person that supports you is directly responsible for the awful five page form you have to complete every year. He/She may hate the forms as well but has to get their job done. If you hate the form or the process give your feedback but don’t take it out on the person who is doing their job.
5. Be Nice – Its not easy for the local HR guy/gal to make friends. Their attempts at conversation in the break room are not secret attempts to make you divulge crimes against the employee handbook. Really they aren’t. We don’t run a secret Stasi – like organization intent on getting you to rat out your co-workers.
Next week, I’m going to flip this around and write about ways that HR can get some love from employees. Any suggestions?