Working in Human Resources – Support the Supporter

Most of the time working in Human Resources is a rewarding, challenging and supportive profession.  You are, or at least you should be, a direct link between employees and management, you get to be part of the people strategy, the training strategy, the employer of choice strategy and driving the business forward through people management strategy.

You are the once a year bearer of pay review news, incentive plans and training plans (usually which are good) and for those involved in payroll you are the sender of notices of payment, the reason people go to work in the first place.

You get to set policies on behaviour, standards and performance, you guide, encourage, counsel and reassure.

And then there is the OTHER side to HR.  You are terminator, the messenger, the one to deal with the desperate, the angry, the bitter ex-employees.  You are the one to receive the pleading letters for reinstatement, the letters that ask “what did I do wrong”.  You deal with sick workers, the bullies, the poor management decisions and the lack of communication.

These alone are difficult enough to manage, but the fact that there is a LEGAL IMPLICATION behind nearly every action HR takes and the pressure is really on.  HR professionals have to consider how they communicate, how they behave, how they present themselves and, particularly in an unsupported office, are always open to interrogation.

The legal profession must be a buzz dealing with HR professionals wondering if they have done the right thing – tell me has the law changed YET AGAIN…

So HR then becomes a liability, a cost to the company, a legal fee magnet – a four letter word.

It goes without saying, therefore, the use of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and providing support in this area is paramount for HR professionals.  Emotional intelligence is the ability to control and manage emotions in the face of adversity.  HR professionals, in particular, must remain emotionally objective in order to provide unbiased advice, action and judgement.  We are all human, and it takes practice to remove that emotion and stay in control when the pressure builds.  Insecurity, fear and stress of doing the wrong thing can lead to emotionally charged reactions and consequences that are not in the best interest for the employees, the Company OR THE LEGAL BILLS.

Human Resources is a function of support to both the business and the employees, who is therefore supporting the supporter…

There are more and more companies being established to provide services to enhance emotional intelligence, not only for HR professionals but to all professionals across the board.  With demand comes the supply – so perhaps if you are a HR professional or are a company representative who can instigate such support, it may be time to think outside the square on employee support/investment.  After all, all good companies are in search of the best personnel and the best personnel will happily move if they are not valued…

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