I have had the true pleasure of working with, meeting and interviewing a wide range of amazing HR Professionals. So when Glassdoor asked me what the top 5 habits of successful HR pros are - I jumped at the chance to share a few key themes that stand out to me when it comes to what HR pros do right.
First and Foremost, they really, really care about everyone in the company! I have seen some amazing HR professionals who stop everything to listen and react to employees. What are the hallmarks of these folks? They get cards, pictures and updates from employees as to major events in their lives. These folks can walk the floor and know all sorts of people, stories, and they take time to stop and listen. They make sure the HR delivery model makes everyone successful, and genuinely appreciate employee feedback.
There are more than 21 functions within HR - but not all deliver the same value to an organization. Successful HR pros know how to focus themselves and their teams on the top things the will help the organization, as opposed to the other 20+ things that everyone wants to do.
The other behavior I have seen is a true passion to never stop learning. The folks I know at the top of the HR game are always reading, going to classes, symposiums, HR events and so on. They also share that knowledge! They are not afraid to forward an article around, or offer a unique tidbit.
Study the Company
One of the absolute coolest things I have seen done is a fortune 200 SVP of HR walked into a room of HR professionals (of that company) - and asked them how many of them had listened to the earnings call the day before. When no one raised a hand, he proceeded to recap the call and explain some of the key business issues. Afterwards, he made it absolutely clear that if he took time to listen to the call, they should too. He wanted a group of HR Professionals who were fluent in financials, business models and the operations of the company. Why is this key? This knowledge is crucial to operations, and he made sure his HR team knew everything possible about the business, not just the “fun” HR stuff.
This is the secret of the club. A number of times I’ve heard CEOs say that their CHRO is their confidant, coach, or the person they can bounce personnel issues off of. To play this role to a CEO, you have to have integrity, listening skills, and be supportive; all while exuding confidence in the advice you offer. Based on what I’ve seen, the closer you get to the senior leadership level – confidence becomes more and more key.
I am sure you have met some amazing HR professionals - what do you have to add to this list?