I love modern, sleek furniture. The days of giant dark wood desks and foreboding offices are gone for me. I prefer a more open style that sends a message to everyone that I'm not hiding behind my over-sized mahogany (esque) structures anymore.
Doesn't the HR job title already get in the way of employees being comfortable in our workspace?
There's another furniture discussion we've all heard in the HR universe. I don't like that one for a couple of reasons.
First, HR has lots of power. Don't believe me? Just ask any employee that has been in trouble since 1950. Still don't believe me? Try randomly selecting an employee and asking them to come to your office because "you need to speak with them." I wonder what type of reaction you would get?
Second, whining is lame, it detracts from the credibility of the profession, and erodes the HR leader's personal brand. Oh yes, personal brand. By now we all realize that EVERYTHING we do affects our personal brand. There is no distinction between personal and professional life any longer.
There is only life.
Share the Power
In what seems like a never-ending attempt to cling to the power crumbs thrown from the operations leaders, HR can lose focus. Our reality is that through reaching out and allowing other leaders to feel they have some of HR's power, we will actually grow our value to the organization.
Consider this...a manager who is stressed about a difficult situation in her department reluctantly reaches out to HR for support. Feeling as if she's failed and has to give up control in order to get her problem resolved, HR has a decision to make.
The shrewd HR leader does much more than "coach" the leader through her problem. The real opportunity for HR is to focus on ensuring that leader feels valued.
The performance planning process no longer equates with the leader's failure. Instead, it becomes a partnership with a colleague vs. an exercise in waving the white management flag.
Don't let the leaders in your organization surrender. The connection you build with them in lieu of "telling them how to handle the situation because they couldn't figure it out" will push your value and power through the roof.
Everybody wins. I like winning.
How About You
Who holds the power in your organization? You have more than you think. Respecting that power, and sharing it with your colleagues will go a long way to building your brand, and your HR team's brand too. Everybody wins.
I'd love to hear from you.