Thriving relationships are a two way street where those involved work together towards common goals. It is no different in a business relationship. At work, the common goals are usually to remain profitable while treating employees and customers ethically and with high regard. To meet those goals, all team members must collaborate and inclusively work together. Each person contributes within their different roles, perspectives, inputs, and talents. However, when a member is excluded, it’s not only detrimental to the organization, but frustrating to the individual.
As an HR practitioner, it gets exhausting manifesting the "Get There with You" philosophy when leaders and managers do not reciprocate. This isn’t always intentional or calculated but the motives do not make it less frustrating. Over time, I’ve realized this typically happens due to poor (or lack of) communication. When there is a breakdown in communication, expectations and responsibilities are unclear, and what needs to happen next is undefined. Business (and ethical) liabilities and exposures can unnecessarily increase when HR is not in the loop when they should have been all along.
I am lucky that in my organization, keeping others involved and informed is the norm. This is modeled by top leadership and encouraged at all levels. Despite our best efforts, we sometimes forget. What’s tragic is we tend forget when we need to remember the most which is during busy times and stressful moments. Because of that, I like to reset expectations frequently by having direct, at times unfiltered conversations with leaders and managers. I accept that my recommendations are not always immediately (or ever) implemented but my feedback is generally welcomed. And when I say welcomed, I don’t mean received with joy and gladness. I simply mean I am not discouraged from bringing my concerns and ideas. And yet, there is always room for improvement.
In my moments of frustration, I am not too proud to beg!
Keep me updated on employee relations issues. Someone goes fisticuffs with a coworker? Let me know. Someone claims they are being harassed? Let me investigate. You observe bullying in the workplace and don’t know how to address? I’m here to help you.
Share with me your concerns about an employee’s recurring call outs, leaving early, and/or arriving late. This is especially important if they’ve mentioned or “you’ve heard” it is medical related. We have policies and procedures in place to address these situations.
Is there a major change in how we do business which affects employees’ pay, hours, training, future opportunities, reporting structures or other HR related areas? Please let me know. I may have ideas on how to communicate, structure, or roll out.
Speaking of training, a paragraph in our training materials hasn’t been accurate in seven years? Please let me know! I can fix that! Then the onsite person training new hires won’t have to verbally explain the new hire can ignore that one section that doesn’t apply. (If this sounds suspiciously specific, it is because I may or may not still be salty about it.)
Have an upcoming hire or termination? You may want to let the folks (me) who handle payroll know timely.
Unsure if you need to let me know? Let’s chat and find out!
The bulleted list above is not all inclusive. What makes our partnership an adventure is we don’t always know what lies ahead. There is a level of uniqueness to each situation. Collaborating, we can lean on each other’s strengths and expertise. I’m here to “get there with you” and I need YOU to “get there with me too!”
How else can we get there together?