HR, it’s time to tear down the wall. Our job is to build up people, so let’s dig into our purpose. Prejudice of all kinds exists, and our goal should be to let it go. We need to let go of all the things that weigh us down, because we can’t help anyone if we are carrying such a heavy load.
The beginning stages of shedding this heaviness is asking ourselves the hard questions: Are we over-processing and over-engineering people to make them fit into a certain culture? Are we putting people in a box instead of looking at how they add value? Are we becoming hypocrites when it comes to our own mission?
Here are four ways we can be more successful in human resources.
1. Keep It Simple
In order to demonstrate the change you want to see, keep it simple. Your choices are what matters. They are what will begin tearing down the wall and creating a brighter future. Dig deep, and start asking what you want that future to be and who will help you bring it to fruition.
What are the most important things that your team needs? Start there, and focus on understanding what your organization has rather than what it doesn’t have. What’s important to an organization are its people, who create a successful team on both a mental and spiritual level. Every hire is a representation of your company, so you need to define what you want the HR department to look like. Good ideas, plus good intentions, plus a clear mind, will create success.
2. Erase Fear
Don’t stand in your own way and let fear run your business. Especially in HR, we need to be fearless in our endeavors. Everyone who entered HR is there to be a voice for the people who can’t speak up. We have a fiduciary responsibility to behave ethically and equitably toward everyone. We need to work with people to bring a positive change into the workplace. Be the HR hero who leads with human compassion and empathy, and the reward will be success and equal opportunity.
3. Provide Support
It’s important to create a safe and supportive work environment, which leads to creativity, inspiration and an inclusive workplace where walls don’t exist. It is our time to disrupt, change and evolve. We support everyone, and this change begins with education. Education drives diversity and inclusion and has an impact on our communities, our customers and, ultimately, ourselves.
Emphasize soft skills-building, so that emotional intelligence, empathy, creativity, problem-solving and innovation begin to promote a culture of learning. By providing support for employees’ learning, organizations become less reactive and more proactive with solutions that extend throughout an organization.
When you remove fear and provide rewards, you are adding human incentives for people to think, act and solve problems. A successful culture encourages people to stay and grow with the company regardless of challenges and obstacles, because the challenges become the incentive to dive in and create and innovate without fear.
4. Build From the Inside out With Education
Research proves that there’s still far to go before we see success. In a 2017 survey by Mental Health America, as reported by the Washington Post, 71% of respondents said they were looking, or considering looking, for another job. The average tenure is 15 months . This problem is systemic, and HR needs to address it.
Retention starts with fostering education and growth. Many work environments view employees as replaceable, instead of putting time and energy into building a culture focused on education and training for success. “Recycling” employees has led to a skills gap in the United States.
Companies and the teams within them win with education and a solid cultural foundation. Start with the basics, and place more of an emphasis on hiring for personal qualities and skills. Many things are learnable, but hiring good people is valuable to the future growth of a company. When you focus on quality skill sets and quality people, your company will begin to progress. This growth will ultimately open the door to new people who are actively looking to learn, work with your inclusive team and make an impact.
When you focus on education, it leads to diversity and inclusion throughout your entire organization. We did not get into HR to stand down. We got into HR to stand up for inclusion, and education is our path to success.