The most important career lesson I ever learned was to understand the business.
There seems to be a lot of back and forth about HR being business professionals/or not being business professionals. In my opinion the easiest way to win this discussion is to make sure you understand the business you support-not just the people portion, but the whole picture.
How does your company make money? What are the products/services your company provides? How do they provide it? Like really, how? What other areas do your HR policies or actions impact and how.
From where I sit, you can make better decisions about the HR support you provide when you understand the business. Looking beyond your schedule and how quickly (or slowly) you choose to respond or how much information you decide you want to share can move your department forward.
People (managers especially) choose to not value HR when you choose to ignore the bigger business picture and only do things the way you want to do things. When HR isn’t valued it’s hard to see them as business professionals.
In 2019 don’t just try to teach the business HR, let HR learn the business.
This one deserves more attention than I’m giving the short 33 career lessons, but this one is important so don’t let the brief summary fool you.
HR friends, you don’t make the rules. You may get to make some decisions, but you don’t make the rules.
If HR is sitting in their office making rules from afar that impact managers and employees we are doing business wrong. Our primary business service to the organization is to help facilitate solutions. Yes, we have to take into consideration all the data that helps us do a reasonable risk analysis, present solutions, and partner with folks for the right answer-but we don’t make the rules.
We may offer guidance on what the safest solution is, but we don’t make the rules. We may even recite case-law and updated state and federal laws, but we do not make the rules…
If you get defensive when a manager has an idea or suggestion and have to flex on them so they know you are in control, you are in the wrong field my friend. You’ll be miserable at work and you’ll hold your organization back.
If you hold up a process so you can remind people HR is an important function for getting work done, they are going to think less and less of HR and start working around you.
Don’t flex on folks and embarrass HR in 2019. Be useful, collaborate, build solutions and take your organization to the next level. Otherwise, you may be building the case for your company to not value HR at all.