Today is the wrap up of my Quality character = quality HR series. I’ll be talking about the top five qualities that I have seen in action by some of the most successful and effective HR people I have worked with. I would have loved to preview each one but some were more reluctant than others and I decided instead to highlight some common traits. To read my first post click here, and now for the final five:
5. Composure: This is sooo important. There are situations in HR where you may see or hear questionable things. Perhaps it’s the employee trying to justify why they “skimmed just a little” from petty cash or maybe a fistfight broke out in the warehouse. Regardless, brace yourself and keep a straight face and stay composed. Keep in mind that when you get called into these high stress situations everyone is looking for you to provide some sort of answer, not to lose your head like everyone else.
4. Discretion: Now this can be a little tricky. You see, we aren’t a priest or even an attorney, despite that some people just insist on pouring their hearts out to us. Not sure why…but it happens.
The best HR people are discrete and trustworthy but also clear on when a line is crossed and the issue needs to be addressed.
3. Genuine: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say “Oh she/he is so fake.” I don’t buy that they actually care! We are just a number.” Usually these people are the ones who say one thing and do another or they don’t really listen when someone is talking to them. Sometimes we don’t mean to come across this way but our days are just hectic.
Be mindful that you say what you do and do what you say.
2. Courage: Huh? This is corporate America not a warzone! Well, sometimes speaking up in a roomful of senior leaders (HR or business line), especially when everyone is nodding their head and smiling can be nerve wracking. Once you start thinking about the mortgage and the car payment maybe you really don’t want to speak up too loudly…forget that! Be the one who says (professionally of course) I don’t think this is a good idea.
1. Ethical: Enough said. We may not always know every bad decision a company has made but when that bad decision is run past us and we rubber stamp it? Bad, Bad. I’m not talking about a policy exception to give someone a sign-on bonus; I’m talking about stuff where we know better. Rubber stamping firing someone who brought safety problems to the company’s attention or keeping someone on who has made serious, expensive mistakes just because they “know someone.” Just don’t do it.
What do you think of the top five? Anything you think I should change? Did you think my order was wrong? Leave me a comment! I’d love to hear what you think!