Most people get into human resources because they want to help people, or they simply enjoy group environments and problem-solving. Regardless of the reason, a good HR representative is one that has earned the team’s trust and strives to maintain it. Here are a few ways that you can become an HR representative that your organization can trust.
Be present and available
Forming relationships with other people requires facetime. Step out of your office and walk around; be amongst the people you work with so that your presence is felt. An important component of building trust in the workplace is familiarity, and once achieved, it promotes better performance overall. When employees grow accustomed to seeing you around, they get more comfortable asking you questions or presenting you with issues. When managers get used to seeing you around, they are more likely to listen to your ideas and trust your judgment.
Fight the HR stereotypes of policy pusher and rule enforcer and strive to inspire the people around you. If you show passion in your work, that will translate into your interactions with others. You can create an atmosphere that promotes free thinking and supports great ideas just by staying connected to the needs of your organization. Finding ways to show your team that HR is needed and helping them understand how it works can be inspirational.
Be a team player
The fastest way to be a trusted member of a team is to prove you are a team player. The best way to do that is to take the time to get to know every department. Collaborate with them so you can better assess their needs and get your ideas implemented. Run focus groups and trial programs to test your plans rather than dropping them on a department before understanding how well they may or may not work. Trust is built when you prove that you want to work for and with your team.
Being flexible in the workplace means being open to learning new things and embracing the unknown. You want to be able to adapt when a new challenge presents itself so that the team can trust you to exhibit excellent critical thinking skills in any type of situation. It helps to show that you can recognize outdated policies and present an open mind when updates are suggested.
Flexibility also denotes leadership qualities. Keep your eyes open for necessary changes so you can build trust by leading the charge and nurturing open discussions. If you can manage changes effectively and know what tools are available for implementation, your team will be more likely to turn to you for guidance and trust your decision-making skills.
Part of working in HR is maintaining massive amounts of information and being about to use it to effectively improve operations. If you know your job well, you can build a stronger foundation of trust. Knowing the numbers and working within a budget helps managers and executives trust your judgment when you fight for new programs. Additionally, fine-tuning your tech skills, particularly those relevant to your organization, will help you improve existing processes and participate more effectively in discussions.
Be a communicator
Communication is crucial in the workplace, especially when building trust is the goal. You, as the HR representative, are responsible for creating the culture in your organization; proving your ability to communicate establishes you as a leader and a professional. Communication doesn’t always come naturally to everyone, but it is a skill that can be learned. Practice mimicking the style of a speaker you trust or even look for training, online or in-person, to learn the skills you need to become a stronger speaker. Once you have those skills, share them with others in your organization; you can even implement them as part of your new-hire orientation.
Keep in mind that, while all of these characteristics are powerful tools for building trust, you don’t have to overextend yourself right away. Focus on one or two of them at a time and prioritize as you see fit. Every organization is different, and trusting your instincts is another important element of becoming a great HR representative.