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What is HR and what is it not?

I’ve been working in HR since 2001 and it still interests me about the perceptions of what an HR person should be like as an individual and also what types of activity we should be carrying out within or on behalf of organisations.

Here are my top things for what an HR person should not be or do:-

We are not Medical Experts

Historically, “Personnel” was seen as a welfare function within a Company. Even in my career I’ve seen people approach me hoping I would deem them too sick to be at work. My advice has always been that you as an employee know your own body better than anyone else. If you’re too sick to be at work, go home. If you need more advice, speak to your GP.

That said, if you are off sick we will work with your GP and occupational health professionals to do everything we can to get you back to work.

We are not the Police

Because I work in HR many conversations have suddenly stopped when I’ve walked in the room with the comment “watch out, HR are here”. I don’t see the role of an HR person to stop people having fun at work (provided it’s legal!) or to wag fingers at people who have done a misdemeanour. In an ideal world I would make the Company Handbook just read “treat others nicely” which covers most things. I find people respond better if you treat them as adults. That works both ways too. HR people are humans too and like to be spoken to and included in things.

That said, we will do everything we can to make sure that employees and managers are in a safe working environment and that people are treated fairly.

We are not Administrators

Whilst there are elements of admin in most roles I get frustrated when HR are just seen to be note takers in meetings or there to process pieces of paper related to people’s employment. HR can actually add so much more value to a meeting or a process by giving the managers trusted advice about the situation and possible solutions.

We are not necessarily experts about your industry

…but we don’t need to be. People are people, and after all my years in HR I can guarantee that the same kinds of people issues crop up no matter what the industry is. We don’t necessarily need to know the technicalities in depth, but that said we like to have a good understanding and really appreciate people taking the time to tell us about their industry as we can pick it up quite quickly and gives the advice we are giving you some context.

We do not manage in place of Managers

Some managers like HR to make difficult decisions for them. But that’s not my role. I’m there to advise and support and give you my professional advice based on my years of experience but I’m not there to take over your teams.

So what do we do as HR?

At Sure Betts HR, I make sure I know and understand your business so your time is freed up to focus on growing your business and not spent dealing with people issues. I take a proactive approach so that I try to prevent issues occuring in the first place by examining your culture and looking at what you have in place now.

I will recommend innovative solutions to you that will transform your business and make your Company and even better place to work than it is already, meaning your people will hopefully want to stay working for you for longer and you will get a great reputation as being an employer or choice so in turn you can attract quality candidates for your roles.

If you want to know more why not get in touch with me to see how I can help your business with its people?

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