The start of a New Year signifies new beginnings & opportunities for HR to begin from a clean slate. Many see resolutions as an opportunity to be and do better or differently than they have in the past. Sadly, behavior change is often not as simple as stating an intention and resolutions are forgotten within days or weeks of setting them. Gratefully, with a little knowledge and thoughtful intention, you can resolve to accomplish great things this year AND be successful doing so by following a few key steps.
Think strategically – know your “why.” The Human Resources field is full of fixers, doers and helpers. As problem solvers, we’ll often jump right into what needs to be done without taking time to think through and clearly define the “why.” As the field of HR evolves and as your organization’s sustainability strategy evolves, resolve to be clear about why it makes sense to dedicate time and energy to various projects and initiatives before you dig in and get to work. Better yet, figure out your why…what is the strategic why of Human Resources in the organization? How does the work you and your team do contribute to the success of the broader organization? Is your “why” inspiring? If not, maybe it’s time for a makeover.
Start with what’s working and build from there. The mind is programmed to see negatives – it’s a defense and survival mechanism left over from the caveman/ saber-toothed tiger days. As a result, we tend to focus on what’s broken or not working and neglect to appreciate what is working well. Success and feeling good breeds more success and feeling good. Take time to identify what is working well in your department and across the company and build from there.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Sure, in your role as key strategic partner to the organization, you have a lot to do to help your organization be the best it can be. Build your confidence and the confidence of others by breaking projects down into chunks or smaller tasks. For instance, rather than tell yourself you will redesign the entire hiring process by June 1, set a goal to conduct a SWOC (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges) analysis of the hiring process by the end of the month and build from there. Identifying the steps to successfully achieving your goals and chunking them out can help you feel better about progress along the way and help you tell that progress story to others as you go.
Keep track of your progress. This tip is simple. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Set goals and decide what success looks like. Be specific.
Find a best friend (or two) at work. Social support is essential to quality of life, health and success at work. As a leader in Human Resources, you are likely focused on creating a great place to work and an atmosphere of trust, fun, and support where employees genuinely like each other and enjoying working together. Don’t exclude yourself from the benefits of social support. Make it a priority to nurture your relationships at work (and at home!) to ensure you have a cheerleader, counselor, and advisor when in need.
Be mindful. As the flight attendant reminds us when we board the plane – put your oxygen mask on before helping others. It’s easy to give, give, and give some more when you are passionate about helping others. Resolve to make yourself a priority in 2017. The benefits of healthy employees are well documented. Lead by example. Whether you move more, breath deeper or enjoy more of what you love, every effort you make to take care of yourself will help you be a better, stronger Human Resources partner in the long run.