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5 Ways To Use HR You Probably Never Considered

This article was based on episode 164 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Members of The Modern Manager are eligible to get 1 of 3 copies of Tracee’s book Silent Overcomer in which she shares her own story of turning trauma into triumphs and offers lessons and insights she’s learned along the way. Become a member at themodernmanager.com/join.


When you think about HR, what comes to mind? Enforcing policy compliance? Mitigating risk? Dealing with harassment or problematic employees? For many managers, HR is the department you seek out only when things go wrong. Yet, at it’s best, HR can be a proactive, strategic partner that enriches and supports even the most effective teams.


I spoke with Tracee Hunt, owner & CEO of Total HR Solutions, LLC, about how managers can work with their HR colleagues. Tracee has over twenty five years of experience in the field of Human Resources and works with organizations to reshape their processes and cultures using HR. She calls HR a “change agent” because it’s always dealing with how to support and navigate change with employees and to bring the organization’s goals to fruition. Tracee offers us five surprising ways managers can utilize HR to support and transform our teams and organizations.


1. CREATING A SAFE SPACE


As a manager, you don’t have to feel like creating an inclusive environment for your staff is resting all on our shoulders. Your HR department or colleague can be an amazing partner to strategize with on how to help your team members feel safe and supported.


For example, conflict in the workplace is oftentimes not about the actual conflict but about something going on in an employee’s life. Giving employees space to share what’s going on in their life now or what past experiences may be affecting their reactions at work helps build the necessary team rapport to get over conflict together. Your HR partner can help you navigate these conversations and identify actions to deepen the psychological safety on your team, all in support of creating a safe space.


2. CONNECTING AND ALIGNING WITH THE ENTERPRISE


HR can also be an important resource for aligning your team with the greater organization’s direction. Within a larger organization especially, it can be difficult for managers to keep their team connected to and inspired by the enterprise goals. Whether it’s crafting a team mission statement, support for “goal cascading” (crafting goals that roll up to the enterprise goals), or making sure that consistency and continuity of culture and procedures exist throughout the organization, HR can facilitate your team to be integrated into the organization in a meaningful and productive way.


3. GROWING YOUR EMPLOYEES


Investing in your team members is a critical component of being a great manager. But knowing exactly what skills or competencies will be valuable as well as what development opportunities exist can feel daunting. HR can serve as a coach for managers by helping you carry out an effective performance review process in a way that will generate goodwill and valuable feedback. Plus, HR can support you by identifying options for training and additional career paths employees can take to enhance their skills.


4. MAKING A COMPELLING CASE TO NEW RECRUITS


Hiring can often be one of the most stressful parts of a manager's role. In addition to the obvious support that HR provides during a hiring process, your HR partner can collaborate with you to create an “Employee Value Proposition” that articulates why someone would value working for this organization, or your team, over another one. This language then helps you convey why this is an exciting opportunity to applicants during the interview process.


5. BRINGING YOUR BEST - NOT WHOLE - SELF TO WORK


We want our employees to feel comfortable being who they are at work, but that doesn’t mean that anything goes. We need to make sure that our team members are expressing themselves in a healthy way. Tracee therefore makes the distinction between bringing your “whole” self and your “best” self to work. HR can partner with managers to strategize how to create a space of caring while still expecting your employees to show up “fit for duty” and ready to work. When a colleague is struggling with challenges in their life that are inhibiting their ability to show up as their best self, managers can turn to HR for help finding Employee Assistance Programs.


Tracee just wrote her first book “Silent Overcomer” about her own life’s journey and how the power of reframing was integral in turning traumas into triumphs. HR can help us help our own employees reframe their challenges in a way that empowers them to overcome them.


Approaching HR as a “strategic partner” can instantly provide you with greater support while amplifying the support you are able to provide to your team. Remember, we don’t have to do it alone. HR is in the business of change. They can help us navigate all of the constant changes we face, helping us conquer our newest challenges while building a strong team.

KEEP UP WITH TRACEE:

Facebook: Tracee L. Hunt

LinkedIn: Tracee Hunt

Twitter: @tracee_hunt


Members of The Modern Manager are eligible to get 1 of 3 copies of Tracee’s book Silent Overcomer in which she shares her own story of turning trauma into triumphs and offers lessons and insights she’s learned along the way. Become a member at themodernmanager.com/join. Or, purchase an individual episode guide at themodernmanager.com/shop to help you implement the learnings and continue to enhance your rockstar manager skills.


This article was based on episode 164 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.

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