So, in your organization, there should be someone who has the job title of “Human Resources Specialist”, “Generalist”, “Analyst”, “Associate” or something similar to that. Although the titles can be different, and specific tasks do depend on job roles, one thing should be the same across all of them – HR should be there to benefit employees.
What can you find in an HR job description?
Basically, take care of what you do and make sure you do it well.
Those activities depend on other determinants. If you work in a seriously large organization, your HR department can contain several teams. That means that some people devote almost all of their working hours to, let’s say, employer branding (making your organization as desirable as possible to potential employees), talent acquisition (attracting and selecting future employees), training and development (constructing and executing development plans according to management and/or employee preferences), performance management, and so on.
It could also be possible that most of the organizations have teams that combine some of those activities. If you work in a smaller organization, your HR department may consist of a few people or maybe even just one. Nevertheless, all of the above-mentioned activities should be considered equally important and given an equal amount of attention.
Preferred characteristics of an HR Professional
Keeping all that in mind, your HR should do pretty well across the lines of:
The “Should be doing” part
Hoping that by now you have a bit of a clearer picture, let’s move on to the “should be doing” part.
Based on the “Competitive values framework” (Cameron and Quinn, 2011), your HR should be:
There are, of course, some trends in human resources management (HRM) practices. Most of them align with the idea that the people who make up your organization are its most valuable assets. One of my favorite sayings is quite simple: “If you want someone to do a good job – give them a good job to do”. To understand those trends better, I’ll give you a simple explanation of them.
1. Authenticity – or, appreciating the real you
It’s said that employees bring their whole selves to work now more than ever before, and this change has to be appreciated. A work culture where people feel in tune with their environment? That can go a long way toward ensuring their connection and loyalty to the organization and its purposes.
Several studies have confirmed the positive relationship between authenticity and work engagement (Sutton, 2020). So, Henley (2019) shared a clear and concise guide of how to be a more authentic leader or HRM professional:
- Share as much as you can to help your team be prepared for what’s coming next.
- Don’t fake listening.
- Surrender your competence.
- Admit mistakes and errors.
- Keep good boundaries.
2. Holism – or, the employee is more than just… an employee
In psychology, holism is a school of thought that states that the mind is more than just a simple sum of its parts. Those “parts” interact with each other and create something else. This point of interaction is where “work-life balance” comes into play. One of the “Top 10 HR Trends To Help Shape Your 2021 Strategy” by Bigham (2021) says – Protect your people from burnout. It sounds more simple than it is in practice, but one of the possible ways to achieve that is personalization.
3. Personalization – or, tailoring stuff to individual needs
“Individual differences” might be one of the most frequently used terms in psychology. Let’s say that people have six basic needs: certainty, variety, significance, connection/love, growth, and contribution. A commonly heard phrase goes “No two people are the same”, so why make compensation systems uniform? Why not use our people analytics to assess those needs?
4. People analytics – or, put your data to good use
Most modern organizations have 1-on-1 meetings, send out questionnaires to assess job satisfaction, or collect info about employee performance in some way – all of those are valuable sources of data. Let’s look at some of the possible ways of optimizing the usage of our data resources.
- Training and development
- Create personal profiles based on the employee’s preferred learning style and development ambitions
- Factors that influence the level of organization can be mapped
- Assessing the fit of the new person can be achieved by comparing the candidate’s personality to the company’s personality profile
We have covered the actual and preferred job descriptions of an HR professional. Throughout the blog, I have used “your HR” as a phrase. The reason behind that is quite simple and goes back to the very beginning of this blog – HR should be there to benefit employees. As the presented concepts could be more elaborated, I would refer the readers to the “Resources” section down below. To conclude, I wish to end with a quote from a LinkedIn blog:
Let’s bear in mind, if you fail to evolve, your business may face the reality of being left behind.
- Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework. John Wiley & Sons.
- Sutton, A. (2020). Living the good life: A meta-analysis of authenticity, well-being, and engagement. Personality and Individual Differences, 153, 109645. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.109645
- Web-sites: • onetonline.org • medium.com • humanresourcestoday.com • tonyrobbins.com • analyticsinhr.com • linkedin.com