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HR Headaches – Having an HR of One

HR Headaches related to being an HR of one

Are you trying to balance your job duties between payroll and benefits, compliance regulations, set up your company’s learning and development plans, all while being the office therapist, social media guru, and events coordinator? Then you, my friend are amongst the growing number of HR professionals that identify with being an HR of One.  Having a unified HR team that doesn’t have distinct departments, but works together on all tasks can have a lot of benefits, but also a few drawbacks. Being an HR of one and a catchall allows your HR team, even if it’s more than one person, to be able to learn all tricks of the trade and be well-diversified in the HR department and significantly contribute to the overall strategic success of your organization. However, it can be a bit stressful figuring out what needs to be tackled first, how to balance the many different aspects of HR’s duties, and remain organized and efficient.  Here are some tips on how to manage being an HR of one.

Build your relationships

Behave as though you are a part of the executive team and build strong relationships with the other executives.  You will need executive-level buy-in for any future changes you need to introduce and it is imperative that you gain the trust of other executives while setting the tone for open communication.  Spend time learning the roles and expectations of all jobs throughout your organization, enabling you to give credible feedback to managers and executives for future company needs.  It is also important to build strong relationships with your counterparts, so that you have strong communication, and they can understand just how diverse your role as an HR team member is. People are less likely to be demanding and are more likely to be patient if they know how much you have on your plate.

Use Internal Resources

Occasionally, there is work that can be done by other departments but has fallen onto the responsibility of HR.  If you are overwhelmed by tasks and need a little extra help, see if some of these items can, in part or in whole, be absorbed by another department and ask them for help. Also, remember to use your team as internal resources for your development. Take the time to learn about the history of your organization, connect with your colleagues. Understand what has been successful or unsuccessful in the past and find ways that you can build on this knowledge for the future.

Utilize External Resources

Take advantage of external resources, you don’t need to feel alone!  There are a multitude of groups online for HR professionals.  Ask your company to pay for an SHRM membership where you can not only connect with other professionals but gain resources and knowledge on just about every HR topic. Attend webinars, join groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, and ask questions!  Through many of these platforms, you can also find a mentor that can help guide you through sticky situations, or simply be an ear to turn to. There are also many resources available through your vendors or other partners. Remember these people are usually experts in their field, so reach out to your payroll partner, or benefits provider. They are there to help!  If you don’t know the best way to perform a task or don’t understand the full depth of a topic you should be well versed in, reach out to others who understand your role, even if they’re not directly in your company.


Keep the Humanity in HR

Nobody likes an HR police.  Present yourself as approachable and friendly while also getting things done and upholding all necessary policies.  There are times that call for very serious business, but you do not have to be strict all the time.  You can make sure your coworkers are held accountable for their tasks and actions while still being empathetic and personable, this will take you a long way.  Talk to the staff and make sure you recognize what their needs are and how you can be their advocate.  The more personable you are, the more likely people are going to help you out and communicate willfully. Creating these meaningful relationships with both staff and executives will help to make you feel as though you are an instrumental part of a team!

HR Headaches – Worker’s Compensation

HR Headaches – Worker’s Compensation Continued


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