There are scores of tips for HR pros to help make their companies better – be more strategic, be disruptive, be an advisor, etc. Being all those things is good, but it takes focus. Here are seven controllable (but not always easy) acts any HR pro can do that trumps a Master’s Degree and will make their company better.
Get off your mobile device. Put your phone down and talk to people. The smartphone is bad for leading people and focusing on your trade. Look around your office and you’ll see many people in your company are addicted to the smartphone. In fact, Ex-Google designer Tristan Harris claims our tech addictions will only get worse. While people are staring at their phone, move like a ninja and get your work done…in person.
Don’t eat donuts. Like, ever. Sure, a donut looks good and everyone is eating them. But one donut leads to one more donut, and then a soda, then you get a sugar high, and then a low and you eat more. Before you know it, you are out of shape and addicted to work donuts. Be different. Don’t eat donuts.
Play. Recreation is good for creation. Play games, go on a walk with your co-workers or boss. Get your blood and muscles moving. Work out your body for 30-45 minutes. Do this often. Good for your mind and body.
Cut down on screen time. Get away from your laptop after 30 to 60 minutes and force yourself to have the tough conversation with a hiring manager or the client who has all the turnover issues. Get outside your office and away from your screen.
Do the work with your team. Doing any type of work with your team is a team bonding experience, so do work with your team as often as possible. Involve them in planning key work. Make them feel included and get the best of their brains to make your work better. If your team behaves bad, check your ego to make sure you are not the problem, then fix yourself or your team members if they are the problem. Doing work with your team is a better team bonding experience than go-carts or bowling.
Make like a duck in water. Work is messy but do your best to show the good side of your work. Keep an organized office, clean files, etc. Anytime you send something make sure it is buttoned up. Like a duck in water, gliding smooth up top and working hard under the water.
Keep your head cool and calm. There will be days you want to lose your shit on something or someone. Bite your tongue. Take the high road. This doesn’t mean back down. It means don’t blow up over something that is probably smaller and will be forgotten tomorrow. Right now, I have a client who I want to go nuts on but I have to use more tact to influence them. Playing it cool is the long game.
I’m not good at many of the seven things above. I read them in books and hear about them in podcasts, but it feels great writing them. Focus on what you can control before you think about being strategic, disruptive or a talent advisor.
Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.
Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.
PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.
Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.