Human Resources Insights
HR Metaphor: Do you get more flies with honey?
I have always believed that the purpose of the human resources function should be just as it infers…“a resource where individuals can get information, assistance, and guidance”…and even more importantly, we must be an unbiased ear to the issues or challenges that our employees may face. Ultimately, this position puts HR in the unique and valuable role of being able to assess, and maybe even embrace and address, the types and depth of problems that our organizations may face.
My philosophy has always been that the most essential role of HR is to listen and then solve problems. When we solve the problems of those we support, then we pave the way for that group to function as it should in order to focus on key business objectives such as guest service, quality of product, and ultimately on making money! HR staff need to be available, receptive, and most of all approachable - in particular without pre-judgment of a person or situation - so that they can objectively aid in the resolution of any organizational people, legal or procedural need or problem.
Here are my top five 5 philosophies on how to ‘“Bee” the best HR’ department for your organization…
• Bee available - 24/7. Don’t put too many time constraints on access to you.
• Keep an open mind and heart. Try not to pre-judge a situation and have compassion for others.
• Bee patient, friendly, approachable and thorough. When you give advice, follow it too. Keep your promises.
• Bee a solid communicator! Listen well and then give your organization information that they need and can apply right away.
• Always keep the “big picture” in mind. Watch trends, reoccurring issues, etc. and then find solutions.
It is critical that your human resources team “bee” on the same page with you at all times. If you, as their leader, show even a little disdain for your employees then you can expect that your team will take that position as well. While HR needs to be confident and firm at times, they must always remember whom they serve and how to best serve them. I suggest that you clearly communicate your expectations to your HR team, share the goals of the organization as well as for HR, and evaluate their performance based upon their ability to maintain and support those goals. However, lastly, and most importantly, recognize and thank them for a job well done and do so with care, frequency, and genuine sincerity.
So, as you can see, I strongly believe that honey is a far more effective enticement than vinegar - because a sweet reward is a far better outcome for all. If we, as human resources professionals ever stray from or forget our most important role, all that we need to do is stop for a moment, reflect and smell the roses. If you find that there is a bee on that flower a fly in the ointment, allow it to let it drink the nectar, thereby avoiding the nasty sting that comes when you ignore the sweet rewards of patience and purpose.
HR Question of the month: Please send your HR questions and concerns, or share your thoughts on your human resources challenges via email to the following address. Send input to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments, questions or concerns will help determine the direction for my next month’s column and earn you a copy of my book. Include your mailing address when sending your responses.