If you feel like your office or cube is becoming a cage lately, it’s time to add a little more “human” to your human resources.
Many HR professionals feel they’re too swamped with day-to-day work to consider increasing their visibility among employees.
But doing so could counter employee attitudes that associate HR only with bad news and being disconnected from employee issues.
Here are seven tips to help raise HR’s visibility among employees in a positive way:
1. Tweak HR open-door schedules to accommodate employees whose hours fall outside of the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday. Open HR offices early or keep them open late for those employees who are working irregular shifts.
2. Eat in the company break room or lunch room. Stop into restaurants popular with employees. Don’t preach about HR, just ask how work is going and address any questions or concerns. Have a tablet computer or laptop handy to quickly show employees where to find company info online.
3. Meet periodically with employees by department. Use some meetings as forums to address questions and concerns raised by employees. Dedicate other meetings to specific topics, such as benefits or hiring. Provide advance notice of the gatherings.
4. Meet regularly with department managers. Ask questions such as: Do you need assistance with any current or upcoming issues related to HR? How are new hires working out?
5. Cross-train HR staff. People in small departments, by necessity, usually wear several hats. That increases visibility because it raises the number of staffers who can meet with employees about a wide variety of topics.
6. Conduct new-hire orientations immediately. It makes HR visible up-front and creates a good first impression.
7. Participate in employee activities. Be there for functions, such as after-work get-togethers, birthday lunches andevents.
Final tips: Don’t delay or postpone meetings. And return phone calls and emails when you say you will. Such actions help employees “feel” that HR is more visible.