HOW can you make a success of leading an HR department? What is it you need to focus on to achieve your goals in such a demanding role?
Claire Livesey, HR manager at Guardian Financial Services, has shared with us these four thought-provoking tips.
Claire started her career working in telecommunications and landed her first role in HR when she recognised a clear gap to realise a company’s potential through its people. Since then she has been advising on a wide range of people matters in her present position.
Claire has been working with Naked Leader founder David Taylor, whose involvement has involved helping to formulate the company’s leadership as well as plans and vision for the future.
Here are Claire’s top four tips for succeeding as a head of HR – knowledge you may be able to apply to help you with your day-to-day challenges.
1. Build relationships. It seems an obvious one, but I’ve witness HR professionals trying to impart their technical knowledge in the hope it aids their work colleagues/business partners, only for it to come across as condescending. We have seemed to lose sight of the fact that in delivering HR service there is a customer and we need to ask to understand how they would like to be dealt with. Once you have respect and trust you can then start to have a more frank and upfront discussion.
2. Rather than spending hours deliberating how people plans should align with business strategy behind closed doors, ask your peers, superiors etc, how they think HR can add real value. The answer might surprise you and it gives you a start point to understand what the expectation is and how you/the department measures against it, which may help save time and money!
3. Learn from others outside of HR – if you work in a large HR department it’s too easy just to confine networking and purely learning from others that just work in HR. Dare I say it but some of the best commercial leaders have come from other backgrounds and have so much insight to offer.
4. Be adaptable – expect the unexpected and always schedule in scope for change in your people plans. Rarely does an organisation deliver on every aspect of its strategy, so why set HR resource needs to be technically prepared for a sea change in plans?
So, thanks to Claire, who makes HR sound as easy as ABC. Maybe her thoughts can make your life easier too!