MY INITIAL WORK AS AN HR EXECUTIVE
MY INITIAL WORK AS AN HR EXECUTIVE
Before I started my work as an HR Director I had to ask myself a few pertinent questions and find workable answers for them.
I had to know my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and talents so that I could perform my work well. I initial objective was to excel and be a peak performer.
Who am I?
This question took me to self knowledge which was invaluable in my work. Of course, I had to ask myself many supplementary questions to get to the right decisions such as ‘Am I in the right job? Is the job right for me? What am I good at? And what else can be done to strengthen me and my skills?
What type of person am I?
Thinker – Do I enjoy tackling problems with logic? Am I strong on analysis but weak on implementing solutions? Am I a methodical worker? Am I sceptical of projects unless they are backed up with sound and rational arguments? (At Work) Am I good with facts and figures, researching, systems analysis and financial side of business?
Sensor- Am I good at getting things done? Am I impatient at planning stages? Do I feel at home with routine work? Do I believe in having a lot of common and practical sense? Do I strive to work hard and am usually well organized? Am I energetic enough with single-mindedness? And at work Am I good at initiating projects, setting up details, negotiating, troubleshooting and converting ideas into actions?
Intuitor –Do I enjoy playing with ideas and theories? Am I good at seeing the overview but miss the detail? Am I creative and have a strong imaginative sense? Do I often get hunches about things that turn out correctly? And at work Am I good at long-term planning, creative writing, lateral thinking and brainstorming?
Feeler –Do I enjoy human company? Do I assess on personal values and not on technical merit? Am I warm and sympathetic? Am I perceptive about peoples’ moods, feelings and reactions? Do I overlook blatant facts in favour of my gut feelings? And at work Am I good at cementing team relationship, counselling, arbitrating, public relations and talk freely and openly with everyone from a clerk to an executive?
What do I value?
Some values are innate and others are acquired or brought about by various conditioning in life or career. These are not always easy and can take quite a time for dominant values to emerge.
Do I value conformity and structure?
Do I value an ordered environment and security?
Do I value assisting others?
Do you look for chances and opportunities to help others?
Do you value freedom and flexibility?
Do you want to be your own boss?
Do you value achievement?
Do you provide opportunities to others to achieve? Do you value power?
Do you value the difference between power, authority, recognition and responsibility?
Do you value a tangible product?
Do you value that all products that are tangible and can be further improved and finished?
Do you value facts and figures?
Do you value working with people?
Do you value congenial people to work with? Do you value financial and economic success? Do you value personal and added fringe benefits?
From my entire Do’s I pulled out my Don’ts and then I became reasonably aware of the future?
I tried to be an HR Executive with an unlimited and multiple strengths, talents, skills and strategies to overcome some of my weaknesses and take advantage of all the opportunities that were knocking on my door.
Consequently I could see that I was serving my organization with dignity and vigour. Hence, I got my report card.
My REPORT CARD as HR Executive
How did I feel about my work as a successful HR executive? After a few years of reasonable results I asked managers to frankly assess me and give me a report card.
Many of my section managers expressed their views and attitudes about me in these ways:
My attitudes that contributed to their effectiveness in working with them were summarised as follows:
- I like being responsible for productivity
- I like people and enjoy talking with them
- I provide coaching and advice when performance problems arise
- I give praise freely when it is earned
- I am not intimidated by workers who tell me, ‘what they really think about me.’
- I seek new ideas and use them whenever possible
- I respect the knowledge and skill of the people who work for me
- I follow up to be sure commitments, goals and standards are being met.
- I am sensitive to the needs and feelings of others
- I am not worried by employees who know more about their work than I do.
In the end, knowing myself made me arm myself with the necessary tools and equipment to make correct choices concerning my work life and job but these were not something that were easily acquired because it was not simply a matter of answering the above questions and adding up to my scores. I tried to continually look and relook at these and additional questions to keep improving my performance.
Therefore, I as a humble HR Executive of yester years have always felt that there is no beginning or end in questioning ourselves about our needs, personality, type, strengths, skills, talents, weaknesses and opportunities. For me work life has been a continuously but smoothly flowing river of knowledge and not a static pond.
I know that change and impermanence are part of the world tomorrow and I should be ready to accept all the challenges.
I do not know if I am in a fit position to face the future head on but I am ready to get started, establish, consolidate and stay on course despite the much turbulence before I begin to plan my retirement.
I am confident that all the new breed of HR Executives would do much better if they found a reasonable route from some of my practical experiences.
Dr Ram Lakhan Prasad
Retired HR Consultant