How do I get HR to support me?
What you need to know:
- The first is to be open to the HR department. This is likely your preferred approach; however, this will not cause the change you are looking for. Given that you have been away, let’s start by appreciating what organisational differences have occurred while you were away and why.
I am a qualified professional working with a Public Entity that has performed well over the years. I had the privilege to be elected for a secondment and recently returned to my organisation. My two-year secondment was during the Covid years. The time away was enlightening, and on my return, I was promoted. Unfortunately, on my return, I found that my HR department is “different” in how it operates and supports the business unit I lead. The HR team has also been through several changes, and I understand that these changes have impacted the team. However, I also feel that the HR team is no longer “supportive” of the staff or the Managers and is more in favour of Management. This has caused me to mistrust my HR team, yet I need their support. How to manage this dilemma. Naomi.
Hello Naomi, thank you for your comments. Let me start by saying congratulations on being selected for a secondment program. That achievement is a stamp and validation that you are technically and behaviourally grounded. Furthermore, you completed the two years away and have returned to a promotion confirms you are grounded in your profession.
To the point you have raised, the two years you were away and the time you were away was when organisations, particularly the HR sphere, went through changes. As you have shared, there have been many changes, and at a global level, many organisations have undergone different changes due to the implications of Covid. I suspect your team underwent the same reflection process. As you have returned and are currently where you are, mentally, there are some solutions that you can consider.
The first is to be open to the HR department. This is likely your preferred approach; however, this will not cause the change you are looking for. Given that you have been away, let’s start by appreciating what organisational differences have occurred while you were away and why. Then investigate what changes have taken place within the HR department. You may also want to ask your colleagues about the changes’ impact on the HR team members. Change always has an effect, whether positive or considered harmful. My advice on recognising the impact of change in the team is essential because that may explain the observations you are seeing and feeling. You may also want to consider talking you your team, and more so those team members going through the changes while you were away. Understand their perspective, and remember that you and your team are an internal customer to the HR department. With all that data, you should consider if there is a link between the data sets, cause and effect. I would advise you also to ensure you have examples of the feedback. Once you’ve done the above, take the time to meet and speak with the HR team leaders so you can have a candid but professional conversation. The conversation is a discussion, not a finger-pointing blame session, but a meeting where you table the concerns. I would use examples to emphasise the concerns and then present the solutions for consideration. You should walk away with agreed solutions for implementation and ensure ownership from both sides.
Remember, you do not and can not work as an island. The HR department works with and for you and your team so you. Good luck.
Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U)