If the people in your organization groan when they read one of your "To all employees" memos, it's because they think of HR as causing problems, not solving them.
You can turn that perception around, says HR consultant Sandy Allgeier, by developing your "interpersonal influence" over the people in your organization. It's not as difficult as it sounds, Allgeier told HR professionals gathered for the Society for Human Resource's annual convention.
All you need to remember is this simple formula: I + You = We.
- "I" stands for "I am a trustworthy ally." That means demonstrating your personal reliability, your competence and your commitment to helping the people in your work force. You do that, Allgeier says, by answering questions, respecting confidentiality, following through on what you promise and helping people implement policy, instead of expecting them to.
- "You" stands for "You are a valuable resource," which means showing that you value a working relationship with each person. You do that, Allgeier says, by asking for employees' input before implementing something that will affect them. And by being approachable. "That means people feel comfortable coming to you with questions or problems," Allgeier says, "and you actually listen to them."
- "We" stands for "We can accomplish this together," meaning that, by convincing a co-worker that you are a trustworthy ally and showing that you value that person's contributions, you develop a commitment to solving the problem at hand ... or implementing the initiative.
"Professionals expect to be treated with respect and [to] work collaboratively," Allgeier says. "Using trust and support to build collaboration will result in commitment."