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The HR Forum

Hi all,

To put it into context, I am the only HR representative in an organisation of about 250 staff.  I joined the org 4 years ago as an HR Assistant and when the HR manager left 2 years later, I adopted the HR management role and upskilled usign the HRM Level 5 Diploma.

Lately, I find I am being bogged down with 'miscellaneous' queries and concerns.  Things that in my view, are not related to HR, but as there is no dedicated department for each enquiry, I find it is flagged to me and example of this would be; being asked to help someone with the new layout of an office rebuild.

I try my hardest to be a helpful person and if my use of common sense can help others reach a resolution quickly, then I will help where I can.  But in turn, I know this creates a cycle of just asking me because I will do it and I am not empowering others to do it themselves.

I have tried saying, "I can help you with that in about 2 weeks" or "have you tried researching it or speaking to other people to see what they do" or "okay but let's do it together".  I have tried organising my day and blocking out times for certain tasks, I have tried working from home but I cannot seem stop my head (and sometimes heart) from getting involved.

I look to other HR professionals, and I am so enamoured with their confident approaches to workload, as well as not getting too involved and taking things so seriously.  Am I the only person that feels like this?

What are your tips and tricks for keeping yourself focused and sometimes...sane... in this role?

Many thanks in advance for your comments.

Karys

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Replies

  • Hi Karys,

    Whilst I'm fairly new to HR sector I have quite a lot of experience in training new staff and supporting students and found your post very insightful with regards what you can have to deal with within HR. 

    I'm not sure if this will be helpful to you or not, but previously I could keep notes of the frequency of assistance that was being required from me by individuals which could relate to their performance to identifying and meet training needs. I wonder if you had similar if it would make people think twice before they asked you about things your role shouldn't be covering or if there was some sort of flow chart showing the areas you cover and other areas or support that others cover accessible by all perhaps sharing with all so new employees know too? As there may be others equipped to answer certain queries so you wouldn't have to? You sound like a very caring person so that way you would still be assisting people by directing them to someone that could help but having perhaps a more manageable workload than having to research everything for everyone.  If either of these  suggerstions are not a good idea for HR specifically I would benefit greatly from knowing that too as I say I'm relatively new to HR.

    Best wishes,

    Kirsty

     

     

    • Hi Kirsty

      Thank you for your comments - I hope you are enjoying your new role. 

      I really like the idea of flowcharts, one of my tasks is to break down our policies into visual flowcharts. I want to make things as simple as possible for line managers so having something visual and step by step such as the probation process should really help and reduce additional comments and queries  

      It’s certainly reassuring from Comments from yourself and Jade and Carl that this is more of a lifelong journey.

      thank you and good luck in your new role in the HR sector.  

       

  • Hi Karys,

    Its a tricky problem, and certainly a good area to develop. 

    One thing you could try is having a giant white board of tasks like a live visible to-do list. Only you can add to it, and when you do take on a task that you feel might not be completly for you, add it in to your list where you feel it should go. Then (this is the tricky part) completly forget about it and promise to yourself that it will not be even thought about until the things above it have been dealt with. This takes a fair amount of self discepline, but if you can practice the act of writing it down, parking it and concentrating fully on the task at hand, you will definitly get better at prioritising. It also help if others can see your task list growing and where their task may be placed if they ask you to do it.

    Another thing to practice is the art of saying "no." Again a hard thing to do if it is against your nature. But try once a day to say "no" to a task or request (start small) and get used to how you feel doing it and how others react when you do. You will learn that if its done in the right way, you dont have to be taking on others tasks that may be irrelevent to your role. Its important to spend time on reflecting on your work day and how well you are actually doing. Having being promoted into the managers role, you must be doing something right. 

    Good luck,

     

    Carl

     

  • Hi Karys ,

     

    I agree with you on this , i think this comes down to two things , how you are as a person and working in HR !!

    I feel a lot of people in the organisation come to HR to ask questions of any kind as they arent sure of HR parameters .I think it helps to be confident in what you want to achive and be brave and tell people you have a departmental strategy and you are working on this at present , so it must take priority.

    The trouble is trying to run with your head and not your heart , its about finding a happy balance where you can use both but not become exhausted !

    I feel politely reminding people when they ask questions ,that they can find out answers themselves , 9 times out of 10 on their own , by using the intranet or reading policies or an employee handbook all these resources have been created for this purpose!

    Dont be afraid to point them in the direction of the answer and inform them you have other things to priotise at the moment .

    Hope this helps , your not on your own many of us feel the same :)

    Jade

     

     

    • Thanks Jade, it’s really helpful to know we are all in this together!

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