Human resource management can be tricky. To understand a human mind, one cannot stick to a single theory. You just cannot cut, paste and follow rules or suggestions straight from the book. It is all about different spectrums of different minds. And not everybody’s mind revolves around the same orbit of thoughts.
For instance we don’t all want the same thing. We don’t all chose Mercedes as our favourite car, or wear the same line of clothing, we don’t fall in love with the same person, or choose similar careers. These are individual choices. And there is no single theory that untangles these emotions and explains why people have different tastes in everything.
With the variance in mindsets, it is a crucial task to be in people managing position i.e., HR. Positioning as a Human resource personnel also means being prepared for counter-emotions. When you have to implement discipline or use hard words, you must be able to figure out the best way to say it so that the person receives it in a constructive way.
1. Assess yourself
The first and foremost trait of being an HR person is to understand the self. Being in HR one should be able to understand reactions to emotions. Self-assessment of your own emotion can help guide you. For instance, how would you deal with a lazy employee who is fun loving and creates a jolly mood in the office, however s/he is always late, misses deadlines and is careless about work. You most likely have a cordial relationship with this person and face difficulties in telling him/her about the hard facts of their work performance. You must however create a balance between your personal likes and dislikes and ensure discipline putting your professional allegiance first.
2. Understand your employee
Emotions are unpredictable and reactions are often unpredictable. Trying to understand the familial and existing environment, culture and religion of an employee always helps. Understanding their faith and belief systems and knowing about their lives can be key to a healthy relationship at work.
3. Dealing with change
Change is inevitable and the hardest thing to perform. We all love change but not when it comes to the self. Many employees quit their jobs because of change in work policy. Many times we lose our best performers due to the lack of adaptation to change. As an HR, if you are able to convince your employee about the changes taking place and make them see it as an improvement, you will succeed. Owning a counseling capacity is a must for any HR personnel.
4. Accountability is achievement
If work performance doesn’t get better, it may be pointed to demotivated staff. Cleaning out the staff is not the answer, rather polishing of the staff is! Employees must understand their work and know their job, and they must be accountable. Accountability makes people responsible. It encourages better work performance.
Catering to emotional needs is a most essential HR function. Recognising your own emotions gives you the power to be reactive when needed and stay neutral in unwanted situations. Before enforcing discipline on someone else, always think of your self discipline. These simple steps of starting to walk the talk will always foster better work relationships.
Anusuya Puri is Project Manager at Center for Resilient Development. She has a Masters degree in Social Work with specialisation in Human Resource and Psychology.