Smart HR Professionals never do these 7 things!


In today’s world, every now and then we discuss about HR should play more strategic role in the business, HR must be a HR business partner, HR has to elevate themselves to sustain in the current business environment etcetera. But other than what HR should be doing now, it is also critical and important to know what HR should never does in order to sustain and be successful in longer run.

Throughout my experience, I have come across many situations wherein I felt that HR must not do this and if they need to succeed and succeed for longer run without much hassles and obstacles.

I think, smart HR professionals never do these 7 most important things:

1. Put Organization first before employees

Finding a proper equilibrium between the management and employees is a key success for HR leaders. If HR put organizations first before employees, Employees feel that there is nobody to protect their interests, or even put their side to the management. Many times, a situation comes when HR has to decide what to do? If they follow the management instruction it might not be in favor of the employees if they don’t follow it will be disobeying the management instruction.

A smart HR must walk between advocating for employees while keeping the business interest safe. We must understand that we are not third party but the company’s representative who is working for the organization’s success and organization can never succeed without happy and motivated employees. Only happy and motivated employees can build the happy organization.

2. Being friend to people OR being biased on personal connect

Be friendly with everyone but not friend to anyone! Being a service provider to business, HR needs to be friendly with all the staffs and treat people pleasantly. HR is the one who interact with employees more than the CEO of the company. When we are touching so many lives and people, we need to have a pleasant and friendly persona, be it the way we carry ourselves or handle problems.

Making friends at personal level can go against HR professional and that could be a biggest slip-up. You might lose out the confidential business information or be bias to once’s benefits and career growth or anyone could take advantage of it or image as HR professional can go for toss. One should Keep business information and personal gossips separate and develop a culture of happy environment and harmony relations among people that allows business and staffs to thrive in the organization”

3. Thoughtlessly taking HR initiatives

We are smart! We know what is going in the HR world! We know the HR best practices! And then we want to experiment all in the organization we are in. Most of the times it happens that when we join an organization, we look at the current system and process, identify the gaps and implement the processes which are not there. 

Have you ever seen a doctor, looking at the patients and providing them medicines which he or she does not have?A doctor always enquires about health in details, past medical history, family medical history etc. HR also plays sometimes a role of doctor for organization. Rather than taking those initiatives which are successfully running in different organization, before taking any initiative we must see the type of industry, business, the legacy, the organization’s culture and professional maturity of the organization and the people. A smart HR must ensure that organization’s objectives, people, system and process are aligned for the big change then only any HR initiative can be successful in the organization. To make the people and organization ready for big change, small changes are firstly required.

4. Being Stagnant OR Stop upgrading yourself with time

HR function has evolved over a period and it will keep evolving and changing with time. So, HR too must evolve to deal with the upcoming challenges as opportunity to serve better and hence HR must upgrade and excel with time in order to sustain in this competitive environment. This could be a biggest mistake if you stop upgrading yourself with time.

A smart HR must build its capabilities in the areas of Strategy, Business Financials, Organization Development and effectiveness, people and Leadership development, Global Business Environment and technology. By doing so HR will be strategically capable to add value to the Organization and resultantly will be able to sustain in the future market.

5. One Size fits all approach

Gone are those days! Now is the time of millennials which are also called Gen Y. So, employees’ behaviour as well the expectations are changing. Certain initiatives which were successful earlier may not attract the young generation now.So far, we had one size fits all approach but now expectations from both the sides are changing. The same policies, processes and benefits for the entire organization will not fit to the overall requirements.

Now there is a need to customize it for different business or unique sets of people.Hence HR should come out of this ”One size fits all approach” and has re-define overall organization KPIs at department and Business Heads’ level with more responsibilities on strategy, processes, system, development, sustainability, growth etc.

6. Talking without Analytics and Data

HR technology seems to have been around for quite some time now and this has emerged significantly in last few years and impacted the functioning of HR department. In such situation, it becomes extremely important for an HR professional to get upskilled to HR analytics. Now without deriving various matrices to show what kind of results we are churning, will not be able to influence our stake holders any more.

In the world of evidence-based HR, with the power of data, a smart HR can uncover things that others can’t even think of. Whatever initiatives have been taken and the contributions have been made to the organization, if those results are shown through various matrices using HR Analytics, it will really win the heart of business people.

7. Owning the process not the outcome

It is the trend in the HR department that they are very much concerned about the processes which might be in the system since many years. We push it on people to get the same completed before the deadlines without getting into the details that how it is impacting the business or benefiting to the organization.End of the year we count how many events have been done, how many trainings have been imparted in the business, how many employee engagement activities have been done and we say our job is done.

Now the question is, do we measure the outcome of these initiatives taken or process completed? Do we check the impact of the same on the business that how it is adding value to the origination?  A smart HR professional should be adequately prepared to establish linkage to what we as HR have been doing and how that could benefit the employees as well as the business.

The role of HR has evolved significantly over the last few decades. Today, HR professionals have a lot of strategic responsibilities other than recruiting, onboarding, engagement, appraisals etc. and in such circumstances, knowing Do’s and Don’ts of their professional life makes them perfect mix for changing business environment.

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Ruby Kumar is an incisive HR Leader with around 17 years of exp in HR Gamut. She is honours in Psychology and MBA in Human Resources. She is also certified with Advanced Human Resources Management Certification from IIM Ahmedabad and Strategy Management from IIM Indore. She has recently completed Fellowship program in Organisation Development from Middle Earth HR. Throughout her experience, Ruby has worked in the various industries such as ITC Limited, Reliance Industries Limited, Angel Broking Limited, Atkins Group and Macawber Beekay Pvt Ltd. Currently, Ruby is heading the Corporate HR function for BEUMER India.


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