Building HR Credibility And Influence Within Business Functions
Trust is often said to be the most important part of any relationship, be it personal or business. Without trust comes a lack of communication, simmering bad feeling and frustrations and an ultimately unfavourable end. Gaining trust is not easy, and it requires time and effort to maintain.
In a people-centered role, those around us must trust our ability to perform if these acts of our team are to be taken seriously.
The RBL Institute’s, “Building HR Credibility” pinpoints the importance of HR’s credibility within a company as:
- “Knowing the business, both inside and outside.”
- “Struggling to connect HR’s work to the business.”
- “Creating confidence that HR’s role is essential to building value.”
- “Overcoming legacy beliefs about HR’s role.”
- “Failing to see systemic patterns in events.”
- “Lack of aggressiveness and contribution with a customer-focused attitude.”
- “Aligning HR to the company culture.”
With so many potential issues and missed opportunities for employee advancement at hand, how can we make sure we present our HR functions in the right way to the rest of the company and our external stakeholders?
Be an employee advocate
HR staff must prove their credibility through action, and all employees must feel that they can trust the department or they will not feel comfortable enough to come to you with issues and grievances, which can prove detrimental to employee engagement, wellbeing and productivity.
If the team makes a promise, they must keep it – and if you cannot, meet with them personally to explain why, nobody appreciates a copy and paste email or an impersonal phone call.
You should be fluent in your company policies (why not start thinking of getting rid of those horrible paper-focused processes) in order to provide accurate and prompt information and responses to those who need it, and frequent department walk-through helps remind talent of your presence if and when they need you.
Avoid using stereotypical language such as “we’re here for you,” or “our door is always open.” Your staff have heard that a million times before, and taking a fresher professional yet casual approach can gain and sustain trust.
Be your company, and beyond
RBL’s whitepaper states that;
strategic HR theory uses the metaphor of business strategy as a mirror. In this line of thinking, HR must reflect its actions off of the mirror so that they are tied with the strategy.
So in order to build influence, your department needs to be in line with the actions of the rest of the organization, however “to be truly proactive, HR should look through the mirror,” so that personnel can “pull the outside expectations of customers, investors and communities into HR work.”
Looking ahead and going beyond the standard will expand your influence within your group, and those around you will feel that they can trust your judgement.
Be an indispensable part of the organization
If you do not get results, your company will not take you or your strategies seriously.
Failing to fully implement policies, saying one thing and doing the opposite ruins your value. Always present yourself as ready, available and someone who can get things done. Credible people are confident and cognitive.
When building your company influence, remember you must properly represent those whose trust you are looking to garnish.
Neglecting employee issues, being absent and underperforming are three of the biggest and most deadly mistakes that HR can make.
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