Preparing to Become an HR Professional

HR professionals must have always a vision, be strategic thinkers, great communicators, tech-savvy, flexible, understand people’s values, evaluate the situation, and inspire others.

Sabira Ranjit

Being a human resource (HR) professional, I find it extremely satisfying that firms in Nepal have started recognizing the value of human resources management (HRM). There are many young people considering joining the HR department because of the growing demand for HR specialists. I meet students who express an interest in human resources, and this is a very positive development.
Although the HR department still is among the least valued units in many organizations, the growth of interest in people is excellent. Here, I will share my observations with individuals who are interested in this department for career planning.
The majority of businesses have HR departments, but they often don’t realize that people in these departments need to be well-understood about their perspectives. Companies set up HR departments with a focus on hiring, firing, and using them in adverse circumstances. This is why HR professionals consistently assert that every company needs to be aware of the duties and responsibilities of HR officials. This article is specifically for people who have recently been allocated as HR executives (by chance or choice) or who want to become one. There are numerous things you should be aware of whether you entered HR voluntarily or by chance. You can become an HR if you possess the qualities listed below.

  • Engage in continuous dialogues with owners, supervisors, and managers.
  • Able to take both employer and employee offenses.
  • Can speak out for what is best for both employers and employees.
  • Recognize and respond to pressure from the employer and employee

Basically, besides having multiple challenges they must be a role model, pillars of the organization, and heroes to associates. Not everyone understands the role of HR, so often they remain unappreciated rather than blamed.

In my career as an HR professional, I have experienced that I was asked by my seniors and colleagues to do a thing beyond the strategies and policies. This means they wanted us to make rules one to one as per how they want the employee to be treated by them.

There are HR professionals from different industries who have experienced different challenges. Samjhana Adhikari, HR Officer-Corporate Office at Siddhartha Business Group of Hospitality says, “Being in an HR department is the most challenging job that I ever had. It looks easy from the outside but is too complicated once you start realizing the practical work. The pressure of managing a workable environment for employees is the toughest task to perform, where maximum turnover occurs now and then. However, I enjoy the one-on-one conversation and emotional bonding with the employees, which leads me in becoming a people person.”

Tila Acharya, Acting- Head of HR at Best Finance Company Ltd says, “My journey as an Acting Head in the HR department of Best Finance Company has been a challenge. It’s a skill as well as a challenge to recruit and engage the potential candidate in the job and build an effective organizational structure in today’s time. As an HR manager, I found lots of challenges in the banking sector compared to other sectors because employers must work and manage employees following the guidelines of Nepal Rastra Bank, and we, as HR must comply with the rules and regulations, restricting as well as managing the requests that are put forth by the employees. Sometimes this muddles up the organizational environment creating dissatisfaction amongst the employees as they confuse concession with the rights that they are provided. Another challenge is the skill gap in the financial industry which is increasing every day. It is equally challenging to monitor all the employees and manage them. People tend to disregard rules and regulations set by the organization and this always leads to decreased productivity. Not being able to maintain and monitor the workflow creates mistrust between HR and upper levels of management. There’s always a continuous pressure for HR professionals to create a balance between management and the employees.”

Netra Prasad Timsina, Senior. HR Manager at MV Dugar Group – Hydro Division says, “Human Resources job is always tricky. My bitter experience in an HR department is, often we have to amend employees’ rights when management feels the need for it. During such a situation, HR will be the one who always gets suspicious as an employee take us as the reason for the change. Especially working with unskilled laborers and making them understand such changes could be hard. The coordination between top management and HR must always blend for any company to have a long-term vision.”

To overcome the above challenges, HR professionals must possess good knowledge of their work, which will make them capable to convince employers, employees, and colleagues. They must be technically sound as below:

  • Understand the function of HR
  • Keep the pace on how HR works in the industry they belong
  • Attend classes on HR basics
  • Take time to understand their organizational system
  • Create a platform for employees where they can communicate their needs and wants
  • Have empathy
  • Be a bond between employer and employees
  • Create policies and procedures within the organization
  • Maintain the standard operating procedures at all the times

To run an organization smoothly, all the departments need to understand each other’s operating functions. For this orientation on a departmental function to all the employees is important. This will enable them to relate how all the departments are co-related. HR plays a vital role in employee relationship management (ERM). There are various ways how HR can build a strong relationship between employees. Below are a few points to do so:

  • Team building
  • Cross-departmental exposure
  • Encourage interaction with all the colleagues

This way all the employees will remain connected with colleagues from another department as well. They will tend to understand others’ work and relate how their work can affect theirs.

Besides, the working environment will be affected when managers do not get along with their subordinates or vice versa. There are a few things we can do to maintain the relationship between employees and their managers.

  • Conduct 1:1 Meeting
  • Conduct Surveys
  • Update on the status of the department
  • Transparency of work
  • Appraisals
  • Have KPI
  • Have IDP

With all the points above being followed properly in any organization, the relationship between management and employees shall remain smooth and satisfactory. HR professionals must have always a vision, be strategic thinkers, become great communicators, be tech-savvy, need to be flexible, understand people’s values, become a partner, take risks, evaluate the situation, and inspire others. The HR department has so many duties that keep the company running smoothly which makes human resources management crucial to a corporation. The function of HR managers is evolving along with our society.

Even though the idea of HR management involves a wide range of qualities, they are all crucial to the success of any organization. Without adequate human resource management, the company goes completely out of business. A strong HR department run by a strong leader is the best way for a company to keep its employees satisfied, productive and innovative. It is well known that a satisfied staff is the foundation of a successful company.

In summary, it is time for all organizations to understand the value of HR management in the company. Similarly, employees must understand that HR is there to uplift them. The more employer and employees take the HR department positively, the more they all grow high.

Ranjit is HR Manager at Kathmandu Guest House & Hard Rock Cafe.

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