Schlagwort-Archive: Management

Delegating & sharing HR tasks

There are quite a lot of people who would love to get rid of the HR function – HR is perceived is being rather useless except maybe for payroll, but there are different opinions on whether payroll is part of HR at all. Most HR people I know love to see payroll as part of accounting, whereas my accounting colleagues tell me it should be part of HR. But that’s another topic.

What I want to talk about today is if and how we could delegate and share some of our HR tasks to others. I’m not an advocate for „zero HR“ because I think HR tasks and role remain, whether you have someone with „HR“ in their job title or not. And I strongly believe that we should open our doors and stop being protective of our tasks and expertise. If we want HR to be more than the internal payroll provider or compliance watchdog or even nanny department, we need to be transparent about what we do and why and how we do it.

It’s perfectly possible to involve team managers and leaders in recruiting, performance management, development and training. Bringing different viewpoints together can be very enlightening, and what good would a training concept do that has been written in the HR department without talking to people what they need? You might think it’s standard and good practice to talk to people before developing trainings and workshops, but that’s not the case everywhere.

So, make sure that you communicate with your internal customers and that you know what their challenges are. Ask them if and how they would like you to get involved. But don’t let them delegate things they don’t want to do upon you! Some leaders are eager to drop the ball and let HR pick it up when they don’t want to conduct difficult conversations with team members.

On the other hand, when it comes to delegation of HR tasks, only give away what you feel comfortable with. However, if you think you can’t delegate anything, leave your comfort zone for a while. It is worth it. Most of our colleagues trust us, so we can trust them to handle the tasks in a good way. And when I talk about delegating, I don’t mean to just give a task to someone without preparing them to deal with the task. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that „everyone“ can do recruiting. Help leaders and team members to develop the necessary skills and to use the relevant tools. Come together and talk about and try out ways of moderating meetings, leading discussions, preparing a talk or a learning session. Help your colleagues bring in personal experiences and let them share their knowledge.

Think about what you could delegate, and then find a way to do this without putting too much additional work on someone’s desk. It doesn’t help to force a person to do overtime to work on an HR topic.

Maybe you can try and swap desks with someone for a few hours per week. While your colleague from the sales team uses 2 hours to conduct a workshop or train new team members, you could help them out by talking to clients or whatever it is that needs doing. This approach might not work everywhere and not immediately, but it’s worth giving it a try.

And who knows, you might have someone in the company who would be a great addition to the HR team and you just didn’t know about it. Or you might discover a new passion in technical support or marketing. Some people never try something new because they fear they might like it. I would like to encourage you to be open and to explore the possibilities. In my experience, you can’t lose.

Whatever the outcome, you will be richer.

Oh, and by the way, other colleagues might appreciate your work a lot more once they’ve experienced parts of it themselves. Good HR is not as simple as it seems, and by involving others and by being transparent, we can show what we’re actually doing each day and why our work is relevant. And even if the experiment results in your HR team being dissolved and the work being distributed in the company, there will still be a role for you. Don’t be afraid of this change.

Be active and curious and open those office doors.

If you like, drop me a line and tell me about your experiences. Or contact me if you would like to know more or need some nudging to start delegating.


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Leading virtual teams

You might think that leading a „virtual“ team, where team members sit at different locations and sometimes even different countries or continents could be an easy task since you don’t have to deal with all the nitty-gritty of daily office stuff, but in fact leading a virtual team is not „leadership light“. It can be hard work and team leaders might need additional support e.g. from HR or other leads.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Successful virtual teams need more than just the technical infrastructure (network, e-mail, chat, video conferencing etc.) – the main focus should be trust and transparency.
  • To gain this trust, personal meetings are vital. It might be expensive to get all team members together at one place, but it will pay off in the long-run with better relationships and levels of trust.
  • Roles, responsibilities, goals and mutual expectations need to be discussed and be clear right from the start, otherwise a lot of momentum will be lost by trying to clear up misunderstandings. Still, even with clear roles and „team rules“, the team leader should continue to look out for unresolved issues.
  • The team needs to find similarities among the differences and embrace intercultural diversity.
  • The team leader should facilitate informal communication between the team members and should be aware of potential reasons for conflict in the team. The  leader needs to observe whether one nationality has the majority in the team, how many native speakers of the common language the team has, whether there are team members of the same nationality as the team leader or team members who share the office with the team leader and thus might be seen by other team members as having more influence.The team needs communication rules and a „team charta“ which helps to respect cultural differences and to focus on the tasks.
  • A result-oriented leadership style will be more effective than a process-oriented leadership style.

What are your experiences with virtual teams? I’d love to hear from you!

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Quereinsteiger in der Personalabteilung (1)

Eine Frage, die mir immer wieder gestellt wird, lautet:
Wie komme ich als Quereinsteiger in die Personalabteilung?

Eignet sich das Thema Personal (oder HR, oder People Management, oder wie auch immer man es nennen will), für Quereinsteiger besonders, oder wird es einfach nur als sehr attraktiv wahrgenommen?

Bevor ich mich an einer Antwort auf diese Frage versuche, zunächst einmal einige Überlegungen zum Begriff Quereinsteiger.

Wer oder was ist ein Quereinsteiger im Personalbereich? Der Duden sagt, Quereinsteiger sei Jargon für Seiteneinsteiger, und ein Seiteneinsteiger sei jemand,

der, aus einem anderen [politischen] Bereich kommend, schnell Karriere macht

Nun muss man, um schnell Karriere machen zu können, ja erst einmal in den gewünschten Bereich reingekommen sein, und so schließt sich der Kreis fast schon wieder.

Wenn ich in diesem und in den folgenden Blogbeiträgen von Quereinsteigern im Personalbereich spreche, meine ich damit Menschen, die weder BWL (oder ein verwandtes Fach) mit Bezug zum Personalmanagement, noch Jura (mit oder ohne Schwerpunkt Arbeitsrecht) noch Psychologie (Schwerpunkt Arbeits-/Organisationspsychologie) studiert haben oder eine entsprechende Berufsausbildung absolviert haben. Die/der ein oder andere mag nun einwenden, dass der Personalbereich doch sowieso sehr bunt sei, und dass es ja gar nicht so viele Möglichkeiten gebe, sich dafür ausbilden zu lassen, aber wenn man sich einmal anschaut, wie viele Hochschulen inzwischen Studiengänge im Personalmanagement anbieten ( und dass man auch in der Ausbildung der Kaufleute für Büromanagement den Schwerpunkt Personalwirtschaft wählen kann oder entsprechende Weiterbildungen machen, dann ist das ein Argument, das immer weniger „zieht“.

Es steht allerdings nun nicht jede/r, die/der mir die Eingangsfrage stellt, am Anfang der Ausbildung und kann sich für einen entsprechenden Weg entscheiden. Wer noch keine Ausbildung gemacht hat oder noch nicht studiert und sich für den Personalbereich interessiert, der/dem kann ich nur dazu raten, sich diese speziellen Studiengänge zumindest anzuschauen. Die Konkurrenz schläft nicht. In der 2014 vom BPM durchgeführten Berufsfeldstudie wurden Personaler u.a. nach ihrer Ausbildung gefragt. 25% der Befragten gaben an, einen auf Personalmanagement spezialisierten Studiengang absolviert zu haben. 2010 waren es 15% der Befragten. Fast die Hälfte, nämlich 46% haben Wirtschaftswissenschaften studiert, 8% Psychologie. 14% Juristen stehen 15% Geisteswissenschaftler gegenüber und dann gibt es noch die „Sonstigen“ mit 9%, zu denen es leider keine genaueren Informationen gibt.

Richtig ist, dass der Personalbereich eher bunt ist. Richtig ist aber auch, dass die Professionalisierung immer weiter geht und zu erfolgreicher Personalarbeit nicht nur gehört, gerne mit Menschen zu arbeiten. Auch wenn das natürlich nicht schadet.

Ich werde in den nächsten Tagen und Wochen rund um das Thema Quereinstieg in die Personalabteilung bloggen und freue mich auf Fragen, Antworten, Rückmeldung, Kritik… wie immer gerne hier in den Kommentaren, bei Twitter, bei Xing, wo Sie mögen.

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Eingeordnet unter Meinung, Personalarbeit