Did I get your attention? Do you really have to forget everything you learned in school? Well, no, not everything but if you really want to make an impact and have a great career in the field of Human Resources the stuff you learned in school isn’t going to get your there. It can give you the foundation you may need but if you really want your career to take off you’ve got to change your thinking from ‘I am an HR person in a business’ to ‘I am a business person in HR’.
Why? Without a doubt the most effective human resources professionals know and understand the business they are in and use this knowledge to create, build and support the HR processes inside their organizations.
School taught you some great stuff-recruiting practices, HR planning, performance management; but did you noticed-when you took what you learned in school and tried to apply it directly into the workplace, what happened? Was it embraced with open arms? Did managers run to your office gushing with delight that you have found the solution to all of their problems? I’m going to go out on a limb and say not likely.
How did this end up making you feel? Is that recruiting process you spent hours working on being side stepped by your managers? Rather than feeling frustrated and yelling (louder) to get the attention on your process or program, stop and ask yourself why? Why are they working around me instead of with me? Is it possible that the program that looked so great on (textbook) paper didn’t really consider all the pressures that a manager is under and that maybe a 15 step recruiting process isn’t actually helping but rather hindering the business?
Being aware of what is happening inside your business, adapting your programs and processes with the business at the forefront of your mind will help you in two significant ways: 1) it will help you create programs that managers can actually work with, that will help them in their business without causing them to grind to a complete halt and 2) it will significant increase your value inside your company because people we begin to realize that you understand the business and appreciate what works, not just what ticks the box.
The outcome: happier managers and ultimately, happier you!
So don’t necessarily throw away everything you learned in school, rather, learn to adapt it to work with the business and not against it.