Who you gonna call?

Using a trusted HR Advisor

You may have realised by now that I like a good cultural reference somewhere in my blog, often in the title and often relating to films, so I couldn’t resist the Ghostbusters reference this month. The films are not about communication at work (but they are about going into business for yourself). However the film’s tagline is an effective shortcut to make a point about contact and conversation.

In my last blog I talked about how modern HR exists for 2 reasons:

  • To help organisations create and maintain the right human environment for us all to be successful and
  • To proactively challenge and support business leaders, managers and employees

The first point should be addressed with organisational culture (which includes communication), structure and the right procedures. The second point is all about communication.

Accountants help you manage your money, your financial goals and know how the business works; HR should help you manage your people, your HR goals and also know how the business works. Do you have conversations with your HR professional (and your accountant, for that matter) about business goals and how you are measuring up? Do you schedule time for regular discussions or wait for an issue or question to occur?

A business owner asked me when I thought it was the best time for HR to get involved in an organisation (as an outsourced service, not as an in-house function). I said, somewhat glibly, ‘earlier than you think’. In reality this means identifying someone who can act as a trusted advisor, not just a problem solver. Involve them as soon as you are thinking about making a change to your organisation whether that is hiring one new person, or when you are considering significantly expanding your business (and everything in between).

Building a long-term constructive relationship with professions, which help businesses be successful will only… help your business be successful. That ongoing partnership with HR and finance will still address issues, but earlier and faster than if you do not have regular conversations. In fact you should have fewer issues if you have a productive partnership.

Each of us feels flattered when someone shows an interest in us personally. We are often drawn to people who take time to find out a little about us, offer good customer service and make our lives easier. But they can only do that if you let them in and engage in discussion with them. In business partnering, this means sharing what is going on in the organisation with qualified individuals who can contribute to your company’s success, then seeing that ‘challenge and support’ from them that I mention above.

Any Ghostbusters fans out there? (either the 2016 film or 1984 film – yes, the first one was that long ago!) You will know that they are the guys and girls to call when there is a problem so please do not think of your HR and finance professionals as Ghostbusters. We all want helpful people in our lives who can solve problems (preferably without needing proton packs) but mostly we want to avoid issues in the first place. Instead focus on enjoying your work, seeing results and planning for the future, with proactive challenge and support from the right trusted advisors.

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