When Sales Manager put down his papers, his boss, Sales Director was very unhappy, unhappy with the HR. Sales Manager was high performer and probably was the successor of Sales Director in the future. He was happy in the organization, but somehow for last few days he was not much engaged. Sales director and CEO were unhappy not because of Sales Manager put down the paper, they were unhappy because this news was shock for them. The issue was discussed in the meeting and CEO asked HR Head, “Why his resignation is surprise for all?”
When Sudhashu, Plant HR Head was called by his boss, Sudhanshu never thought that internal union members were planning to get the external affiliation. In day to day activities, he was so tied up that he could not get the feel of workmen in the organization. When his boss told this, we was actually surprised, why he was not able to get this news before his boss.
In both incidences, management has some expectations from HR. Management clearly wanted to know such news from HR. When it came via other channels, it was considered error from HR side, though not a major failure.
Does such cases are frequent in organizations? Is HR senses what’s happening in the organization? Are there any channels where management comes to know any events, pulse, feels before they becomes the surprises? It is not expected that HR should keep an eye on everything in the organization, but when it comes to HR related issues, definitely HR is expected to break such news.
If you are a HR professional, irrespective of your profile, you need to be more proactive while dealing with the people. I always tell my team members that every paper, every issue coming on your table, is the opportunity to start interaction and further opportunity to build the relationship with the person. This help you to build the trust. And if you build the trust, people will come to you to speak, not only official issues, but they will give you the feeling of the people. They are your communication channels.
It is not just for the sake of communication only, but then you get the time to act and possible certain positive actions on the issues.
I have three suggestions for HR professional and even other functional line managers.
- You should be the first: You should be the first person who should come to know every function related information. Your team members are your eyes and ear of your function. It depend upon you how you build the relations, and how people are comfortable coming to you.
- You should be Proactive in approach: You should not be reactive in approach. Exit interviews are the reactive approach. Why you should act after the event? In 95% resignations, there is less probability, that employee will stay back in the organization. They already made up their mind. There is no point in discussing why he is leaving the organization and what better could have been done for him. Exit interviews still can be conducted, but more proactive approach (e.g. stay interviews) should be adopted.
- Your approach should be long term: Most of the time, reactive approach leads to short term solutions. If your approach is proactive, you can think long term Consequences. Compliance attitude may lead you in mess. Just think, how the particular solution will be long lasting, off course not necessary permanently.
These are not technical and functional competencies. These come through experience, but awareness of this will definitely help you.