HR Generalist Errors and How to Fix Them

By Elrona  D’Souza

As an HR professional, one is always managing relationships. As we always say, ‘ we deal with people’.

Let’s analyze this a bit further and understand what people aspects we are dealing with everyday. We, as generalists, have our hands in a few pies.  At times, the morning would start with a disciplinary, somewhere in the afternoon; we are talking promotions and later mobilizing a whole new project. These are people related responsibilities, so you can consider them good examples of dealing with people and building relationships. So when you’re following the process, living the policy, then where are the errors to be fixed?

Every Employee Counts

In the midst of all your commitments, an employee may find you despite your efforts on maximizing your desk time to respond to some emails and missed calls between meetings. If you can recall this scenario, then you know exactly what I am referring to. You may not intentionally avoid this interaction but this impression is marked with the employee and anyone he or she may express this to. Regardless of the intent of visit (or a missed call), the employee has taken the time to  approach someone in HR. It may not be an important issue but it must be important to the employee to take the time to address the query. We as HR professionals in our daily schedule forget that these are the employees included in the line ‘we deal with people’.

Be pleasant and either address the query or advise the employee that you are in between meetings but work out a way that you can return to him or her at a later point. Make sure you keep your commitment, as tomorrow they could be instrumental in your progress. Develope this into a practice and it will help you as you grow in your career in many ways.

Be Compassionate – Always!

Some aspects of our professional lives are not very pleasant, and some of the decisions taken have a profound impact on the people we deal with and their families. Redundancies, terminations, disciplinaries are sometimes a routine job once we have done a few of them and have overcome our own issues.

As an employee is taken through this process and may come across different members of the team or department, we have to always remember to be compassionate. To us, it may be a tick in our to do list but for the employee, these are life changing experiences and we should never take them lightly. I am not saying that you are the shoulder the employee is offered to cry on but also remember that this is personal to them and be respectful of that.

Bias and Stereotype- A big NO

When you come across a situation where you detect bias, it is prudent not to concur with the bias. You have to always be seen to be fair with an unbiased view to keep your credibility. In any situation, this will help you focus on the task and process instead of the person.

For instance, you might have the best intentions to make a new recruit feel comfortable in a host country but try not to conclude their preferences based on their nationality or for that matter on any other stereotype. Instead, ask probing questions and let them tell you what might interest them. Then, be open to giving suitable suggestions. Furthermore, make sure your induction material is also put together in a way that is not biased or stereotyped. You want them to belong and work together.

There are many more errors from where these came from and I would urge you to look at yourself and your team and look for areas of improvement. Have a focus session on yourself or your team and work on the formative feedback. There is a thin balance to be maintained between dealing with People and dealing with people related matters.

Working passionately for more than 12 years in the field HR field and recruitment. Elrona began her career in HR with my foundation years in recruitment. Her experience is in providing strategic people solutions to business needs in order to achieve operational and strategic excellence  Get in touch with her on LinkedIn.

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