Building and maintaining professional relationships at work is a strategic advantage for any HR professional. These relationships extend both above as well as below you on the organization chart. HR pros must do the hard work of building relationships every single day. It’s no easy task. It’s so easy to get caught up in plugging away on this project or that project each day until it’s time to go home.
But, as an effective HR professional, you need to take the time, each and every day, to have a regular conversation with the people in your organization. Get out of your comfort zone and your regular circle of acquaintances and make an effort to speak with two to three different people in your organization each day until you’ve talked to everybody then go back and start from the beginning. Visit or call them and spend a few minutes and just chat about what they are working on right now, what their plans are for the weekend, what can you do to help them, etc. Tell them what you are working on and what your plans for the weekend are. Remember, you are building and maintaining a relationship here.
HR needs to know what’s going in in their organization and the only way to do this is to be having regular conversations with employees at all levels. It’s a critical part of our job. People will start sharing some pretty interesting stuff about what’s really going on in the organization when they start really trusting you. This will make you a much more effective HR professional giving you valuable information about current simmering problems, potential future problems, who the real leaders are, candidates for promotions, etc.