Monday, March 18, 2013

HR to newbies..

Being in human resources department for six years doesn't make me an authority in the profession but I have gathered useful bits of experience-based knowledge that i think will be useful to those who are interested to enter the profession. And I'd like to share to you just for nothing really..:) Just kidding. 

I want to impart my experiences to encourage you to try HR as a profession or if you don't really want it, I hope I'd be able to make you understand about HR. There are lots of misconceptions about HR people. For one, HR people are still humans so do not expect us to keep our calm when you are trying to test our patience. :)

So, here goes..

In entering the profession, your heart should also be in it. It is not a simple job as it may seem from the point of view of other professions. It needs your constant attention and energy. There's a lot of thinking / brain exercises. There's always new things that you can learn lessons from especially that you are dealing with people. People with different backgrounds, with different views on things, with different culture and orientation, with different beliefs, attitudes, and character. In short, this profession is not for the fainthearted.

In one of my many work stations..:)
To be in HR, you don't really need to graduate in any HR-related courses like Psychology or Industrial Engineering. I graduated with a course in Political Science but I end up doing HR jobs. But if you really want to succeed in HR, it will really help if you undergo formal trainings or education because it will really assist you to adjust immediately to this dynamic profession. However, if you have a good boss who can mentor you about HR, the better. Nothing beats the knowledge gained from experience and immersion. I am really lucky to have started practicing HR with a boss that doesn't keep her knowledge to herself. 

You must also be keen to details. People are really sensitive and easily offended when you commit even a slight mistake. Example, in the spelling of their names, in the details of their contracts, the grant of their benefits, the computation of their leave credits and tardiness, in computing their bonuses if you are in payroll. All hell will break loose when this will happen so be very careful. Review everything. Even your announcements will be an object of scrutiny so it doesn't hurt to throw a second or third glance to your inputs before releasing. As my former boss termed it, "Always cover your ass". Pardon the word.

Try to be friendly to every person entering your office but always keep your professional distance. This may sound so easy but in reality, it takes a lot of effort to please every person asking our assistance/services. There are people who tries to bully us because they thought we cannot be triggered to get angry or throw a fit towards them because after-all, we are in HR. We are supposed to have long patience, that we can explain why people behave the way they do thus we are expected to keep mum when 'attacked'. In reality, that is not true. As HR, when people act like cavemen, we should tell them in a respectful and professional manner that we will not tolerate such behaviors. Slap them with the company policy on good manners and right conduct. That will shut them up. But never forget to address their concerns. Always work on their concerns however petty so they will not feel neglected. Motivation is a big factor in employee performance. If they will feel that HR is ignoring them and in effect will feel ignored by the management, prepare for a no-nonsense manpower problem.

HR people should be strong and firm. We should always stand our ground especially if we want to get results. If we want the employees to follow the rules set by the company, we should be fair to everyone. Discipline those who needs disciplining and reward those who deserve so. Of course, we should lead by example. We are looked up by other departments when it comes to following the rules and regulations. So we should always be careful not to earn the ire of other employees by violating the rules and getting away with it unscathed.

In one of my travels as HR Specialist - In Isabela
HR is a very exciting profession. It will allow you to understand human behaviors better. You will be exposed to so many types of persons that will hone your people-skills and will help you become more patient and understanding of the actions of the people around you. You will play so many roles. There will be a time that you will play as a tape recorder, a shock absorber, an adviser, and a listener. You will gain friends and enemies. You will be both admired and ridiculed. You will be loved and hated at the same time.

On the technical side, you should learn the basics of hiring and recruitment, training and development, and payroll and timekeeping. When I first became an HR staff, those were the first areas that I tried to become familiar with then I eventually learned how to conduct investigations when it comes to employee relations, I did some events organizing and is eventually hired to higher HR position. It was not an easy ride, I tell you. It IS still difficult. I am still in the stage of climbing the next level. But I am absorbing everything. Trying to keep in mind the lessons learned in every situation.

My space..boring, rigth??except for the banana!

Finally, do not forget to enjoy. Love your work and your work will love you back. Do not be afraid to commit mistakes. Mistakes are the events/experience/situation that we did not learn anything from. Being in Human Resources doesn't make us an expert on people. It only teaches us to better understand them and to better understand ourselves as we move along in the society. So, just enjoy. Life is too short to frown.

Pleasure and Business mixed! @ Lake Sebu.