Tips for Improving HR Teams

When working hard to improve your HR Team, it is important to understand the concepts of ‘value’, ‘capability’ and ‘attitude’. Here are ideas about what each means.

What does value mean?

Value is all about fulfilling your team’s purpose (and having them fulfil their purpose). It measures how useful you are; how much you contribute; what difference you make; whether or not you achieve the expected results. These things evaluate your input. They measure the output of your work against the aims, objectives and targets set for yourself and by others. This can be measured in terms of cost saving, increased sales, improved customer service or whatever else management might expect from an individual employee or a particular part of your HR Team.

What does capability mean?

Capability is all about knowledge, skills and expertise. It measures the ability of your team to do what needs to be done in order for them to fit in with management’s plans. This is not always easy because it means adjusting to new tools, approaches or methods which you don’t know anything about yet or even sometimes managing things less well than before when things were done differently. It might also involve training people up so that they can do better work independently without needing someone else there supervising them all of the time. This requires extra effort from everyone involved but will pay off in the long run by making work easier and more efficient for everyone, especially if they are allowed some flexibility as to how they do things now that they have been trained up.

How can I improve my attitude?

Attitude is all about how people feel and behave towards each other and their work. It often accounts for why some people seem to get more done than others, regardless of how capable they might be: because their colleagues like them; or at least don’t dislike them; or at the very least tolerate them without any open animosity; and because they enjoy what they are doing; and/or don’t resent it too much. This does not mean that everyone has to be friends with everyone else but it does mean that people should respect one another even if they don’t particularly like one another. Where there is tension between team members, this can undermine their focus and stop them getting the best out of each other.

What’s important about value, capability and attitude?

They are harder to change than a lot of other things in life but they are worth the effort because you will get more back from your team if they have these things in place. If your people don’t share some common purpose it is hard to know what everyone should be doing or how anyone could adapt or improve without feeling that they are letting someone else down by not fulfilling their role properly. If nobody knows what anyone else is supposed to be doing then it brings into question whether there is any point in having a team at all!     Once roles are clearly defined, some people may be unhappy not doing what they like to do and/or feel that they could do better without having to check with anyone else every time they want to make a decision. It can be hard for people to adjust if they are used to the way things used to work before you tried changing anything, but it is worth persevering because most people like knowing how their job contributes towards an overall goal and understanding what’s expected of them even if it does change from time-to-time.

And finally, attitude is the hardest one of all because there is no nice simple list that you can refer back to or set out as bullet points on a piece of paper: ‘Here’s what we need from you and here’s how we’re going to help you deliver it.’ Getting the right attitude means working at people’s motivation and feeling good about themselves, their teammates and what they do.

What can HR do?

Change is difficult for everyone affected by it but you are in a unique position because you control how processes work, who does what job and where people sit around the table. Appointing someone as your HR Business Partner gives them extra clout with management which could give you more flexibility over changes or new initiatives that might affect your department or Team. You also have access to advice from specialists who know what makes people tick so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when something doesn’t work out quite as expected.

The most challenging part is often getting people to see that an initiative or change can offer them more opportunities to grow and progress: for some, it all comes down to what they do and not how they do it.

What can managers do?

As well as being good at motivating their team, encouraging the right attitude is something that managers should be able to do by setting a good example of what’s expected of them without necessarily knowing all the reasons why. Having a shared respect for each other will bring out the best in everyone so if problems start to affect morale on your team you need to sit down with them and ask why. It helps if you let Team Members know what’s on your mind so that everybody has time to get used to any changes and have the chance to have their say before anything is finalised.

What can HR Systems do?

There are a number of hr software options that you might use to track performance in your team, from simple checklists to sophisticated automated programs that compare what people do against preset parameters. Some of these tools have been designed by consultants especially for HR practitioners so that they can measure how well their department is performing or where improvements might be needed. These tools work best if you write down everything that’s expected from someone in a particular role instead of going by previous practices where something was done ‘because it always has been.’

How successful will I be?

 The key to success with this will depend on your ability to communicate with your Team and/or management as well as having an open mind about the direction that you want to take –and whether there is a need for change. It will also depend on how willing people are to step outside their comfort zone and be innovative; if it’s only half the team that’s involved then there’s no point forcing change because it will never happen unless everyone gets fully behind