2014. It’s a new year, and a new start…at least metaphorically speaking. As we look ahead at the promise that the New Year holds, all the possibility that lies ahead of us, it’s natural for many of us to make personal resolutions. In addition to my usual resolutions, I have a few wishes for HR in 2014 too. Here’s what I hope…
I hope that all Women of HR will start focusing on being better business people, rather than better HR people. Let’s speak the language of business instead of the language of HR. If you’re not well-versed in the business and industry in which you work, I challenge you to get there. Start small. Start learning what the key drivers of success are for your company. Start recognizing the environmental factors that impact your business. If you’re already pretty well-versed in your business, great! But keep learning more! Get out from behind your policies and start to figure out how what you do can positively impact business outcomes. If you’re not sure where to start, find someone within your company who you look up to, who you respect, and who you trust and ask him or her to help you. If this person is outside of HR, that’s even better. Get outside of your HR walls and start to become known as more than just the person who has the answers to benefits or employee relations questions; start to become known as someone who can contribute to the success of the company in a variety of ways.
However, in our drive to be better business people, let’s also not forget about the people. Once you understand the drivers of business success, think about how people strategies align with those factors. Steve Browne on a recent episode of Drive Thru HR said “too often we jump to the business instead of the people. We need to attend to the business through our people, not in spite of them.” I challenge you to take a hard look at your people practices and policies….do they make sense? Do you really need all of them in place? Are they written to protect the business from the exceptions to the rule instead of in the spirit of believing that most people want to do the right thing? What message are you sending through your policies and procedures?
Let’s all make a commitment to understanding how technology can make us better, more efficient HR pros. My personal goal is to learn about one new technology solution per month. I’m not committing to using all of them, and if fact I may use none of them, but I want to better understand what’s out there. With that small commitment, by the end of the year I’ll have a better understanding of 12 new solutions. By understanding the solutions that are available, we’re in a better position to understand whether or not the processes we have in place are making us more efficient or less efficient, and whether there might be a better way to achieve our goals.
Women of HR, what are your goals for the New Year?
About the Author: Jennifer Payne, SPHR has 15 years of HR experience in employee relations, talent acquisition, and learning & development, and currently works in talent management in the retail grocery industry. She is one of the co-founders of Women of HR, and is currently the Editor of the site. You can connect with her on Twitter as @JennyJensHR and on LinkedIn.