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HR teams: how to support employee growth

Ana Nastase
18 Feb, 2022
3 m read

HR professionals need training programs too

As we’ve always said, professional development is crucial for any organization that aims at keeping up with the ever changing business requirements, and as it happens most of the time, HR professionals are the ones that instill a learning culture within the organization.

But what about their professional growth? Any organization should invest in the professional development of the human resources teams, making sure that they have access to training programs and learning resources to grow their skills. Processes change, new practices need to be implemented and new methodologies need to be put in place, and HR professionals should be prepared to adopt and apply them. 

What comes to your mind when you think of the work of a specialist? Usually, for an outsider, the HR specialist is in charge of managing the employee lifecycle, taking care of benefits, performance and payroll, all of these being perceived as part of an operational process, which calls for formal, hard skills related training programs. But this is no longer available. HR professionals need soft skills too, so that they are able to manage their activity within the organization. 

hr professionals

Skills to be developed

  1. Developing people management skills

Processes are important in an organization, but people are crucial, and the HR specialists need to manage employees, a task which requires informed and personal interactions with people, which calls for soft skills. Thus, specialists need to develop interpersonal skills, to know how to communicate efficiently with people, to be emphatic, good listeners, to understand emotion and body language.

This is a difficult task, as “businesses are made up of people of different ages, from various backgrounds, and with different ideas of how to work. This means different groups within your business will be motivated by different things and will work best in particular ways.” (source) This is why HR people should be offered soft skills training programs, to be able to have tough conversations with the other employees (for example, when they have to make unpleasant announcements, to solve conflicts, to offer rough feedback, etc), to understand emotions and to actively listen to make sure they understand what it is said. 

  1. Adopting an Agile mindset

According to a Deloitte study, “business and HR leaders can no longer continue to operate according to old paradigms”, and the Agile methodology is an appropriate way to adopt new paradigms, as “collaborative and adaptive by design, Agile can help improve team collaboration, product speed-to-market and efficiency and overall customer satisfaction” (source). With Agile, value can be delivered faster, but progressively, as the Agile methodology calls for a profession of steps - plan, develop, complete, test and release.

Also, Agile encourages the idea that constant iteration is better than failure, as “this constant flow of work and changes made from feedback can help create methods that work best for each particular HR department” (source). Put differently, the Agile methodology and mindset give HR specialists an opportunity to change the workflow and to define the professional relations between members from different teams. 

  1. Foster a positive culture

The HR specialists play an essential role in defining and implementing an organizational culture among employees, and it is important for them to have access to training programs that develop skills which help with an effective development of this culture. Among these skills, the adaptation to innovation is really important, as the organizational culture should be driven by the ability to embrace change. Also, encouraging employee engagement and finding opportunities to grow it is a hard task for HR specialists, along with managing diversity and inclusion, flexible working and so on. In this context, training programs are highly needed to contribute to the professional workflow of HR professionals. 

Some (final) thoughts

HR professionals are the superheroes of every organization, but even superheroes need learning programs. Make sure that you invest time and learning resources in the growth of your teams.

This article is part of a bigger topic called: 

Employee engagement

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