There’s more to human resources than writing policies and figuring out how to convert minutes to decimal hours for the payroll department. To be an effective member of the human resources team, you need to embody the skills of a great leader.
Communication is the foundation of leadership and employee engagement. Take time to assess your communication skills to better connect with the people in your organization.
One of the most important skills leaders and human resources professionals need to develop is effective listening skills. When we focus on becoming great communicators, we often focus on the speaking component of communication. Instead, our focus should be on becoming better listeners.
The main thing to remember is that you are listening to understand rather than to respond. You should be taking the time to hear what the person speaking to you is saying, rather than thinking about what you’ll say in concern. Repeat their words back to them to ensure you get their meaning. Finally, when you walk into a meeting, don’t share your ideas right away. Instead, empower the people in your meeting to share their thoughts first as not to be influenced by yours.
Whole Person Development
A great leader or human resources professional will look at their employee as a whole person. They understand that the lines between home life, goals, and professional aspirations are blurred. Negative situations at home may have a corresponding impact on work performance and vice versa. A great communicator understands this and shows compassion.
To connect with an employee, you must take the time to learn more about them beyond the scope of their work. What are their values? What are their long-term goals? What can your organization do to help them achieve these goals? Showing that you care about your people will improve productivity and engagement.
Transparency within an organization circles back to strong communication. Not knowing what’s going on within an organization leads to rumor spreading, fear of job loss, frustration, and employee turnover. Great leaders share everything they can and keep an open line of communication around issues.
Town hall meetings are one way that businesses can regularly update employees on their financial status, work happening in different departments, and plans for the future. It also provides a public forum for employees to ask questions and address their concerns safely.
To truly connect with employees, you need to be authentic. While many leaders in the world grow their following by conveying themselves the way they wish to be seen, employees value authenticity and truth. If you are perceived as inauthentic, your employees will not be able to develop trust or a connection.
Great communicators let their personality shine through in their communications. They don’t come off as scripted or as though they are simply speaking to protect the business. It’s that authenticity that makes them approachable, improving transparency and communication.
Lead By Example
When cultivating a connection with your employees, remember the golden rule, “treat others how you want to be treated.” Take that theory and apply it to your organization by treating your work the way you want others to treat theirs. Show your employees that you are actively engaged in your role.
Don’t be afraid to be a pioneer and be the first to try new processes or commit to new policies. Show your coworkers that you want to be at work and that you’re willing to put in the extra time to get the job done. In a nutshell, walk the talk and show that you are on their level.
Fostering a connection with employees will help you become a great communicator. In doing so, you will be able to help others achieve their goals while working toward yours.
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