Human Resources should be friends, not foes. But unfortunately for a lot of people that’s either not the case or they’ve been crossed before and are not wanting to build that bridge at a new company. Here’s what working in talent taught me about the value of people and the value they can bring to your company. (Read: your HR department should be doing this.)
The words “human resources” and “talent department” tend to instill fear and excitement in many sly job hunters or ho-hum employees. Many people associate human resources as those people who scour through stacks of resumes, tossing out everyone with an alignment or spelling oversight, or far worse: the in-house big brother looking for an excuse to jot down every mishap in their employee file as proof to send them packing at a later date. They judge people based on what they see on paper, right?
For my end-of-studies masters internship, I had the opportunity to work with the Talent Development team in a French, family-owned company that sticks to its roots and human values. It took actually sitting in the HR/talent “hot seat” for me to see things differently.
If you’re working at a good company, and HR is doing its job right, human values and the principle of setting clear intentions all matter when retaining and attracting talent. Moreover, sitting on the other side of the chair taught me about how people should be valued in an organization.
The sad truth is that many people quit their company because HR isn’t doing what they should be doing. In fact, the HR department has an important role to play in employee job satisfaction, and many people start sending out their CVs because HR isn’t fulfilling their talent needs.
So when you’re thinking you want a change (before you quit), here’s what you should do and how HR should honor your needs. And if you don’t get this kind of support, it could be time to think about how your company values you as their talent.
People can’t read your mind and aren’t always going to pick up on what you may consider to be less-than-subtle hinting about another role you may want. You need to be honest about your career goals. There may be another opportunity in-house or at a partner office that you don’t know about. If you have to have the courage to express what you want, HR may be able to find a better spot for you. My first job was in France because I spoke up about what I wanted, even if it possibly involved moving departments, leaving the company or the country. Speaking of which …
Be open about your mobility.
Want to go abroad? Make it known. Many people are not because of personal constraints, but they need people to fill global roles. Put yourself in the front line to seize opportunities.
Don’t keep frustrations to yourself.
Again, be honest. Open communication is key and can evade inter-team strife. HR may be able to come to the rescue and fix communication issues within teams, but for them to help, you have to let them know what’s going on.
Expand your skill set.
HR should be about training and developing its team. Before quitting your company, seek out available training and education support. You may be surprised how well-received you’ll be.
Prioritize work-life balance and your wellbeing.
If you’re overwhelmed and burning the midnight oil, say it. If you’re with a good company, they’ll recognize that you are human and want you to be happy and healthy. And if your company doesn’t, you may want to reconsider working there. Bonus: Studies show, your performance increases when you’re satisfied outside of your nine-to-five.
HR should be your friend, and not a felon, so don’t sit back and wait for opportunities to fall in your lap or frustrations to simmer like lava in a volcano. Chasing your dreams begins with one thing: clear communication. And if your HR company isn’t willing to do these things described above, again, you may want to question whether this is a good company for you. Do yourself a favor, and start looking where you’ll be valued.
On that note…
We recommend reading A Guide for Taking The Worst Job (because sometimes doing what you don’t want to, can lead to a major career boost.)