HR can be a tough profession. You’re responsible for matching your company’s needs and mission with incoming talent, or maybe even trying to find that talent. You have to find ways to run a tight ship without inciting mutiny, which can be difficult given the many different personalities with which you have to deal. Below, you’ll find a few tips that can help you find the balance you need to be the glue that holds all the sections of your company’s totem pole together.
Understand the value of relationships
Obviously, employers expect to see results, but don’t let those results come at the expense of building true relationships with as many people as you can. If others in your own department as well as other departments feel like you’re truly vested, they’re more likely to trust you and look to you for advice. Working well with others in your department leads to a more efficient team. Working well with “the rank and file” makes you more valuable when it comes to conflicts within or between departments and means you might be the one that an employee comes to with a great idea–an idea that you can help to develop and present to management that gets you (and hopefully the originating employee, too) recognition that can further your career.
Relationships with peers outside of your organization are always valuable, too. It can be helpful to have such folks as sounding boards or as a network of resources in the event you find yourself in need of (or just wanting) a new job.
Surround yourself with the best
When it comes to choosing your own team members, don’t make the mistake of trying to make sure you’re the smartest one in the group. Instead, do all you can to surround yourself with the best and brightest people you can find, even if these people will be subordinates. You look a whole light brighter to others when building a strong team is more important to you than outshining others in your own group.
Don’t stop growing
If you ever decide that you’ve “arrived” and have nothing left to prove and nothing left to learn, you’ll almost certainly find yourself in someone else’s rearview rather than looking at them in yours. There’s always something new to learn, always a new trend to watch, always a better idea waiting to be discovered.
You also want to learn how to embrace feedback of all kinds from all kinds of people. You may disagree wholeheartedly with some feedback, but knowing how others perceive you can be valuable. If you get feedback that’s unclear, don’t walk away until you fully understand what’s meant. If you get feedback that you feel is unfair, state your case respectfully if you feel you’ve been misunderstood. If you get positive feedback, don’t let it go to your head. Asking for honest feedback can not only help you grow, it can be a sign to others that you embrace opportunities to grow, learn, and improve.
Look ahead, not back
While your experience has helped turn you into the HR pro that you are, more companies these days are interested in what you can do for them now and in the future than in what you’ve done in the past. This may never be more true than right now, given that the advent of social media and an ultra-connected society have given rise to new ways of advertising, recruiting, networking, hiring, and sharing information. Showing your team, your employer, and the rest of the totem pole that you’re prepared to handle what’s happening now with an eye to the future will mean a great deal more than anything on your resumé.