A researcher asked several highly successful HR execs how they made it to the top. They identified six traits that made them stars in their profession. Which ones do you have? Which ones don’t you have? The research comes from PersonnelToday.com. Consistently, successful people said they advanced — and got the boss’s attention — by practicing these six principles:
- Don’t expect or try to change people. You can give people opportunities to change. You can give them encouragement. You cannot change them. Those who insist they can force change are doomed to failure.
- Get to know your organization’s customers. You can’t fully understand your employees’ problems and needs if you don’t understand the customers they deal with and have to satisfy. Further, without that knowledge, you can’t fully understand the business.
- Learn about the company’s finances. If you don’t like being referred to as a “cost center,” sit down with the CFO and figure out how HR can help the bottom line. You may have to learn how to read and interpret a balance sheet, too. But, hey, no one said this was going to be easy.
- Develop a thick skin. HR people are known for getting along with others — after all, the word “human” is in their title. Still, you have to be prepared to take some tough stands and say some things that people may not want to hear.
- Don’t wait for your boss to give you tasks. Initiative and ideas are the building blocks of success — in HR and in life. Grab problems by the throat and develop ways to fix them.
- Develop a system for prioritizing. It’s easy for an HR manager to get pulled in a million different directions. It’s also a path to failure or obscurity. Determine what has to be dealt with first — money matters, the boss’s demands, whatever.