To many, HR revolves around administration – that is, hiring and monitoring employees. “So what’s the fuss about their claim that they’re always busy?” “If busy, with what exactly?” Well, I was once in the shoes. “Was there any problem they always try to fix, or they’re just trying to fix non-problems just to appear busy?”
The role of HR has evolved over the years. Initially, it was all about hiring employees and doing all paperwork that concerns payroll. However, it was discovered that these roles also need to expand into strategic management that can result in overall organizational development.
Getting into the role exposes you to how employee engagement and career growth is directly connected to employee performance and productivity. Come to think of it: if employees do not feel engaged appropriately, they may not put in their best, they may start coming late to work, and absenteeism may increase.
When any of these happens, do you just fire them? What if the problem becomes recurrent, do you keep firing until you’ve got no employee? This is just one of the few circumstances where HR professionals have to be at their strongest wit, investigating the root of the problem and coming up with solution-driven recommendations. Keeping an employee on board is way cheaper than hiring a new one.
If you think HR job is for those who don’t like to work hard, then you are absolutely wrong. HR managers are just too busy than you can imagine. When I say “busy,” I don’t mean being busy with trying to expand a working team or improve productivity.
During the pandemic, for instance, there was a rapid and new transition – many employees had to work from home. While they are concerned about their jobs, HR managers were more concerned about how to make sure that employees were able to cope with the new change as well as had the right equipment to work with.
Above all, they also need to keep reassuring employees of their job security. This is as such a difficult situation will often come with increased tension and a partial loss of trust in the organization. Thus, HR managers play a significant role, especially in the aspect of maintaining open and transparent communication.
HR managers juggle different tasks at the same time and try as much as possible to maintain a balance. You know where the main challenge is? There is no one-cap-fits-all approach in managing some of these intricate tasks. This is as every organization differs in terms of its mission, culture, as well as employee population and diversity.
At the same time, it is possible to be immersed in the wrong things. You know such a situation where you keep working hard rather than smart. When you want to show how much you work hard, you bury yourself in a long list of “to-do” tasks rather than seeking help where necessary. Despite the fact that HR managers get prioritize and complete tasks based on need and order of importance, they hardly have enough free time. The reason is not farfetched from the fact that they constitute one of the highly sought-after personnel in the business world.
Even if they have a lot of helping hands, HR managers wear many hats. They are payroll managers. They are benefits specialists. They coordinate organization’s activities. They manage the health of both employees and the organization. They do other many other tasks that they find difficult to connect with the actual job description. Still, they still have to shuffle the hats and complete tasks related to each hat effectively.
To sum it all, irrespective of the company size, location, or culture, the days of a typical human resource professional are hugely busy. They are full of different priorities that keep changing, having to take numerous phone calls, responding to emails, and getting impromptu meetings. However, how you will be able to cope and manage the numerous tasks will depends on your personality, work style, and approach.
Amidst all of these duties and responsibilities, you still have to create time for yourself to unwind so you don’t shortchange yourself while you strive to make a difference for your organization and employees.