‘I went into HR because I like people, but now it seems like everybody hates me’
If you’re in HR then it is safe to assume that, at least at some point in your life, you have had an interest in people.
But many HR professionals find it frustrating that, instead, they are frequently seen as the ‘bad guy’.
Maintaining your companies’ regulations without seeming to abandon employees can be a difficult balance to strike, so here are 3 ways to help improve your image and show your colleagues that HR heroes are here to help!
Embody the culture that you want to inspire, rather than enforcing it
Saying one thing and doing another will only create resentment, so make sure you lead by example. If you are rooting for transparency but constantly holding secretive meetings, that is a recipe for HR-disaster!
- If you want people to talk face-to-face instead of emailing, do so yourself.
- If you want people to show gratitude, say ‘Thank You’ yourself.
- If you want people to wear purple socks every Thursday… you get the point.
Leading by example will not only encourage everybody to follow suit but will also help you to showcase your authenticity.
Most importantly, stay positive. Employees will notice and reflect your mood, so make sure it’s a mood that you want around!
Personalise your service
A reason often given for a dislike of HR is that they sometimes fail to realise that there are real humans behind each statistic.
Showing actual interest in every person you come into contact with will humanise you and help form a relationship that is built on more than just co-working.
Onboarding, 121 meetings and mentor programmes are some easy ways to connect with employees and let them know that you are interested in their development.
It also gives you the chance to feedback clearly, honestly and privately, which will help everyone to grow together.
Although it might take a little more time, being transparent, honest and trusting will also go a long way to personalise your service. That means no micromanaging!
Although being in HR means that having to deliver bad news is inevitable, showing empathy and humanity while you do so will help people realise that you are just the messenger.
Introduce some things that employees love!
This sounds obvious, but you might be surprised how many companies do not offer anything non-work-related to make the 8 hours a day a little more enjoyable
In fact, a survey we conducted recently found that 47% of companies offer no employee benefits at all!
If you are constantly delivering bad news and nothing else, it is only natural that people will start to associate you with negative feelings.
Even if it is only a free fruit bowl once a week, set up some extracurricular (and optional) fun and let everybody know that it was you! Little gestures like employee benefits go a long way to improve your image and make everybody feel valued.
So, go show your business that not all heroes wear capes
At the end of the day, most people get into HR to help people, not to hurt them. So, it is about time they got their hero status recognised!
BUT, to be deserving of the title, you have to make some effort not to be the bad guy.
Personalise everything, lead by example and try to slip some fun into the working day.
Otherwise, we all know what happens to the messenger.