I was reviewing my Personal Effectiveness Workshop in preparation for a series of run a few weeks from now when it dawned on me that a lot of these stuff I'm talking about can make some people's lives easier, particularly the HR People. Here are some of them.
Stop Tolerating What You Shouldn't be Tolerating
Us HR people are stickler for making rules and procedures but are probably the most problematic in implementing them. Cases in point. We prepare staffing requisition forms and procedures but when requesting managers don't fill them up or folllow the procedure, we tolerate them. As result, we are left guessing about the details of the vacancies and end up recommending the wrong people. Don't tolerate noncompliance. When you say the cut-off for submitting time records, leave availment and overtime payment requests falls on a particular date of the pay period, be firm about it. Don't extend the deadline for people who make up a lot of excuses to submit them one or two days after the deadline that leaves you working through the night because the employees will raise hell if you pay them late. If people don't submit in time include whatever adjustments they need on the next payroll. Make sure though that you made proper announcements. This goes with all the other cut-offs and procedures that you've been very lenient on in the past. Be accountable by making others accountable for them. It will definitely make your life easier and help others realize that HR is to be taken seriously.
Take All Those Obsolete Policies Into the Garbage Bin
Times change, policies you or management thought were good sometime ago might not be applicable anymore. Don't waste your energy trying to defend them or worse penalize people for violating them. Review them and make the necessary changes. Case in point, office uniforms are on their way out. Bill Gates and his cohorts changed the rule a long time ago. If you want to hire young, creative people, you might want to rethink those office uniform policies and come up with a dress code that is more attuned to the time. Let me get a cowards way out on this by saying, this of course does not apply to everyone...hehehe. Another point, the availability of new technologies and media is changing the way people work. If you are preventing people from accessing them, it will only work to your disadvantage. You won't be able to enjoy their benefits and people who want them will shy away from your company. So, in the advent of web 2.0, Facebook, Twitter and the likes, how do you manage to keep people productive and not turn into cyber loafers without shutting them out of these technologies? My answer, make their performance goals clear and make them accountable for it. I believe that if these are clear, people will have the discipline to use these tools for productivity more than entertainment. These are just some of the few in my mind. As this does not apply to all, it is fair to say that HR together with the other managers agree on what is applicable for their companies. Some of the policies out there have been handed down from one HR generation to another. It's time to retire those policies that do not make any contribution to organizational effectiveness. Rule of thumb, if no body can explain why a particular company policy is important, throw it out.
Stop Acting Like the Corporate Police, Judge and Executioner
Many people have this perception of HR. In fact a lot HR people have this perception of the role of HR. I believe that this is not our role. HR is responsible for equipping the organization with the right people, with the right set of knowledge, skills, attitude and add to that; discipline to do the right things for the company. It is every manager's job to make sure that everyone is aligned with the company's goals and directions and to make everyone accountable for it. By making managers realize their HR roles (Please see my previous post on this topic by clicking here) HR wouldn't have to take this role that makes it look like the scum of the universe.
Stop Making the Hiring and Firing Decisions
If you are still doing this, you must be in the receiving end of plenty of blames. Managers need to learn that they should be making final hiring decisions and again be accountable for them by not passing on the hatchet job to HR. In most companies I've served as HR, I sold this policy to managers. As a result managers became accountable for their hires by making sure they perform or else they will carry the responsibility of firing them before the probationary period ends. Since they know that regularizing the employment of a poor performer is a bad idea, the only way to not fire an employee is to see to it that they perform well. Of course, if all else fail, they have to face the music. It made my job easy and helped the managers become more effective because they can't run behind HR to fire people for them.
Define your role in the organization, come up with strategies on how to fulfill them and act on them. Even more important than the idea of planning is involving others in the planning and implementation process. It's not enough that you clarify your role, it's important that you clarify the other people's role as well. Why will this make your life easy? When people have complete buy-in on the things you want to implement and they are able to contribute enough information so you can customize your program to make it useful for them, it will save you the time of redoing it and the frustration of making things that people don't want to use.
I'm sure there are so many other things you can do and decide on today in order to stop you from feeling that you are doing a thankless job. Identify them and work on them now.