I don’t know about you, but I sure would like my professional life to continue to be something I get excited about. I like coming to work. I like thinking about new ways to do my job. I like knowing my team has the okay to try new things without fear of reprisals from me or the organization’s leadership team.
When I consider all of the various issues that impact how I go about doing my job, three things seem to jump out at me. They may be something you should consider too.
1 – Learn the business
Although HR is a transferable profession, meaning you can apply the basic skills and knowledge of human resources to every industry; it is imperative that HR practitioners understand the specific industry their company is in. I’ve worked in health care my entire career, and have a strong understanding of “how it works” from types of staff, competitive issues, pressure related to payer mix and the reality that our customers simply don’t want to come to my company. (Do you want your child to go to the hospital today? Me neither.)
Quite honestly, it is very difficult to engage in any sort of meaningful strategic discussion with your colleagues if you don’t understand how your company develops its products or services, how it gets paid, or what some of the competitive pressures are, right?
2 Make friends with key leaders outside of HR (Finance, Marketing, and Operations are a good start)
One of the most effective ways to take action based on Step 1 above is to connect with key leaders across your organization. There are two HUGE advantages to adopting this leadership approach.
First, you have an opportunity to build relationships with other decision-makers outside of the normal “report-out-follow-the-same-standing-agenda-meetings” that you two normally see each other.
Second, you can ask questions about their part of the business (typically more detailed than would be asked in a larger group setting) without fear of embarrassment. Plus, the other person typically enjoys the chance to share their expertise with someone else in the organization. You both win! Except if you make this a priority you will win multiple times as you connect in a deeper way with several key leaders.
3 Take risks outside your normal “risk comfort zone”
Much has been written about how the world of human resources has dramatically changed over the last five years. I’ve jumped on the “go modern or go home” bandwagon; but sadly many HR professionals still believe their primary job is compliance and saying “no” whenever possible.
That is not modern HR…that is just a small part of our responsibility.
So many tools are available ranging from slick HRIS solutions, to social media channels, to various apps for our smart phones and tablets that there simply is no excuse to not step out of your comfort zone and risk a few things.
You don’t have to be reckless…but it is time for each of us to keep pushing. Even if we’ve been a semi-early adopter we have to keep challenging ourselves to be better.
I’m all in…who’s with me?
How About You
What do you think of my three priorities for a better life? Whether you like them or not, we all need to identify what makes sense for us to keep moving ourselves forward, and if we have the courage to do anything about it. Who’s with me now?
I’d love to hear from you.