In many ways, the HR department is the most important in the company. They’re in charge of everything from recruiting and hiring to onboarding to handling employee relations and more. But in a lot of companies, there’s a stigma against Human Resources. The fact that they have so much power, and can decide employees’ fates in a variety of ways, can be intimidating.
But if your HR team is going to be successful, you’re going to need to get past that stigma and work together with other departments to maximize both your effectiveness and theirs. Here are some tips for maximizing cross-departmental collaboration.
1. Communicate. The sales department needs a new rep. It’s HR’s job to hire them, but the Sales team is the one that knows what to look for. It’s important to communicate with them thoroughly and effectively, to find out exactly what they need and who they’re looking for. Make them a part of the hiring process whenever possible and get their input at every stage, to make sure you get the best person for the job.
2. Pool Data. HR needs to find out whether an employee’s latest day off was counted as paid vacation time or not, so they talk to Payroll. Payroll has a question about how many hours an employee worked, so they ask HR. These back and forth requests for information between departments can be cumbersome and time-consuming. It’s much more convenient for all departments if you put all employee data into a central database that everyone can access when they need it. A Human Capital Management software platform can work wonders in this regard.
3. Meet Regularly. To a lot of employees, “a meeting with HR” has an ominous sound to it, and it’s something they want to avoid. This is part of the stigma against Human Resources. But in actuality, meeting regularly can foster collaboration and help everyone to do their jobs more effectively. Schedule regular meetings with the heads of each of the other departments, to check in and see if there’s anything they need, any problems that need to be addressed, if they have any suggestions, etc.
4. Be Aware of What’s Going On. In any company, there’s some sort of office politics. It shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of doing your actual work, but it often does. Therefore, in order to work effectively with other departments, you need to have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on. Does one employee have a problem with someone else in their department? Try to resolve the issue diplomatically and come to some sort of compromise. Though be careful to work with the department head in this regard, rather than just stepping in and acting. The former will earn their respect and gratitude for helping them solve a problem that was hurting the company. The latter could make them resent you for undermining them—leading to more office politics.
5. Be Careful of Criticism. It’s your job to provide constructive performance feedback for departments and employees. But do it tactfully. If you call someone out publicly for what they’re doing wrong—even if you have the best of intentions—it could lead to resentment on their part. Then, next time you need their help or cooperation with something, they might not be so willing to provide it.
The HR department is the glue that holds your company together. It’s important that they be experts at cross-departmental collaboration in a variety of different situations, in order to improve workflow and increase productivity. If they can work with other departments diplomatically and solve problems effectively, then everyone wins.
Paypro’s WorkforceONE® Human Resource module offers a comprehensive HR solution that’s amazingly easy to use. Your employees, managers, and Human Resource administrators will stay up to date and compliant. Contact us today to learn more, we are here to simplify your workforce.