One of the key roles of HR Administrators is to foster and maintain positive employee relations. This means helping employees navigate organizational minutia, act as their sounding board, and build trust in their organization's leadership. Unfortunately, there may be some challenges to overcome first.
BambooHR reports, that roughly half of employees don't feel comfortable approaching their HR with personal or work-related problems¹. A study by AcuityHR, suggests that "fewer than 7% of workers believe that HR looks out for workers."
While so much emphasis placed on benefits packages nowadays (and rightfully so!), very little time is spent on improving the perception of HR in general. Perhaps, one place to look for change, is in improving the ambiance of the HR office itself. When we think of the traditional HR office - bare walls, cluttered desks and stiff chairs come to mind - as a result, almost no one feels relaxed. What if, instead the office was a bright and cheerful place to visit? Would employees feel more comfortable stopping by?
We wanted to spend a moment to think about some simple ways to make the HR office more comfortable and welcoming, and hopefully, set your department on the right path of creating a positive work environment.
In addition to improving the ambiance of the office, face time on the floor will do wonders. One HR Administrator shared her approach in connecting with employees in person. "It's totally basic and simple: I walk around, make eye contact, talk to employees and answer their questions. I talk to everyone – from the entry level employees all the up to the executives. This creates a comfort level among our team and they tend to come to me with their questions and issues."
Another simple-to-implement idea is to make interactions with HR a more frequent and casual affair. Most employees only meet their HR team just a handful of times - during official occasions like onboarding or training. Why not schedule opportunities for more frequent interactions in a more casual setting? Another idea is to hold official office hours for specific topics. For instance, 11-1PM on Tuesdays, for benefits package questions, 3-4PM on Fridays for continued education ideas.
The job of the HR Administrator may be one of the most hectic in the organization. Implementing a few of these simple touches will not only make a big difference in employees' experience, but also make it a more pleasant experience for administrators themselves.
How do you make your HR office more welcoming? We'd love to know! Send us a note and we may add it to this post.
¹"Only 57% of non-managers feel comfortable approaching HR with personal or work-related problem." Source: BambooHR.
²"Fewer than 7% of workers believe that HR looks out for workers." Source: CareerBliss study referenced in HRAcuity