Every HR Manager is a bit of an Influencer.
With YouTube and especially Instagram, a new profession has emerged that is suitable for all children from the age of six. It’s an influencer, but even so, it’s nothing new. Every proper HR Manager has been a bit of an influencer for years. And it started long before anyone had the idea to make an iPhone and stick an Instagram to it for those pretty pictures. Influencing those around us is one of the core roles of an HR manager. Among other jobs, of course.
Human Resources has never been a department that has firmly and strictly driven the people management agenda in the organization. It was always the department that enabled others to do the people work well, to have the tools to keep their employees happy. But HR was never the department that did it for managers (although they would often love to). So we kind of have the influencer thing in our blood, because we know how tough a job it is.
Our job is very much about communication. We have to sell our solutions, and they have to be an attractive commodity. If we just send a dry email and expect it to just sort of happen on its own, we’re just going to be sorely disappointed every time because it turns out the same way it always does. Nothing happens. If we don’t sell it properly, we get nothing. We have to try every day to get our stuff into the priorities of all the managers, and we have to accept that it’s going to be a real battle of nerves and priorities at the beginning.
We have learned over the years that communication must be polished, punchy, to the point and offer positive solutions. It has to work well and influence the mindset of others to kind of yearn for our solution. I mean, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, it’s often enough that they just don’t mind at first and don’t see it as some HR coolness again.
Another area of work of a Human Resources Manager where he/she can be an influencer is facilitation. Often people don’t know exactly what that means. It’s leading a discussion to a conclusion without bringing one’s own perspective to it. That’s kind of the layman’s definition of facilitation.
It’s helping a group overcome contradictions, moving the group into action when it’s stuck in one place, preventing unproductive conflict and in turn encouraging the healthy conflict that eventually produces the perfect solutions.
Historically, we were good at this, no one took us as the enemy and everyone was willing to be facilitated by someone from HR, if only because we were resolving workplace conflicts. And that has stayed with us.
And finally, our last big influencer role. That came as the world around us began to change dramatically. And companies had to start changing fast. And when they successfully completed one change, that’s when the next dramatic change had to begin. And that was the moment for human resources professionals.
We help people deal with the change that has become part of our professional lives. We can no longer guarantee anyone a job for life, but we can help people adjust to the change and their altered careers. It’s a painful process, but the role of Human Resources is irreplaceable. After all, few people in a company are closer to the people than a great HR manager.
So we don’t need Instagram or TikTok to be influencers, we make do with just talking to people at work. We don’t sell organic shampoo, but we can put a lot of people at ease with their woes. And we can show them the way forward.