What does your HR team say about you? Does it matter?
As we engage in our long-term leadership development programs, we inevitably spend time talking to the HR team about who’s in the program, why, and how we can best help. For better or worse, we hear what they’re thinking about you. Their hopes and dreams for what you can become, and of course, their concerns.
It’s been fascinating to experience the consistency of HR thinking across industries and geographies. Whether they are in Singapore, San Juan, or Kentucky, it’s the same behaviors that drive the HR VP nuts.
And of course, their impression can influence your career. Most senior leaders have one trusted member of their HR team on speed dial–not because they HAVE to, but because they WANT to. In my time at Verizon, I’ve been on both sides of that call.
Here are 5 Behaviors That Will Impress Your HR Team
If you’re looking to get to the next level, or even to survive tomorrow, it’s helpful to have your HR team in your corner, cheering you on. In addition to being a rock star in your day job, Here are five behaviors that can help enhance their impression of you as a high-potential employee worth extra investment and support.
- Be Coachable (#1 By a landslide)
Be open to feedback, from up down and sideways. Really listen to what you hear. And show how you are integrating the feedback into real behaviors to improve. HR hears “Yup I got it” all the time, and then watch employees slip back into old behaviors. Show them you’re hearing the feedback by acting on it.
- Tell the Truth
Nothing frustrates a good HR person more than half-truths. If you want them to be straight with you, be straight with them.
- Treat others with Deep Respect (Including Your HR team)
This seems so obvious…and yet, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a “high-potential” manager talk down to their HR team as if their role was somehow less important than a field assignment.
- Work Hard
“He’s smart but lazy.” “She’s great at managing up, but doesn’t actually get much done.” “Yeah, you know that Gamer you talk about in Winning Well? That’s John.” Not the recommendation any of us are going for.
- Be Open to Try New Things
Your HR team is looking to build a strong bench of talent for the long-term good of the company. They need utility players who they can count on to turn-around just about any sticky situation. HR loves the employees who are willing to take on a new challenge or make an unexpected lateral move.
Your HR team can be an invaluable resource to help you navigate your career and to get the feedback you need to grow and develop. It’s work the effort to invest in these important relationships and to ask for, and act on their feedback.
See also 5 Secrets of a Utility Player