Mark Stelzner thinks human resources “has done a historically lousy job of seeking answers from within,” so his New Year’s resolution is to “listen more/talk less.” I can’t speak for the entire profession, but I know that as an employee my best experiences with HR have involved someone asking me questions and really listening to what I think about workplace issues. I would be shocked if someone could find an employee who has never had a gripe about the workplace and wondered “why isn’t anyone doing anything about this?” Chances are no one is doing anything because the people with the power to act just don’t know what’s going on. Even the best HR professionals aren’t omniscient, so they need people to tell them what’s going on in the office. That can be easier said than done, though. The HR folks have to get out and talk to people, because people may not think to come to you or may be nervous about doing so.
Do you make a regular practice of getting out and listening to people in your office? Do you have an example of a time when you learned something important by listening to a staff member?
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