8 Things People-Oriented HR Professionals Do Differently

There are several management styles currently in favor. Task-oriented management styles and people-oriented styles represent two popular schools of thought related to management best practices. As is suggested by the names, the people-oriented style focuses on employees first and foremost. Comparatively, a task-oriented style focuses on the satisfactory completion of tasks as the main objective, with people-management relegated to a lower priority status.

Below are things that people-oriented HR professionals do differently.

1. Lead by example to help employees manage stress.

Stress is one of the main health issues that employees face. People-oriented managers know that the best way to encourage healthy behavior is through modeling that behavior in their own life. Promoting healthy behavior that lowers stress levels means working few if any overtime hours and not emailing employees over the weekend.

Managers should take vacation days and mental health days as needed, so that employees understand that this behavior is acceptable and encouraged. Far too many employees skip vacations because they worry that the lost time will put them at a disadvantage in the workplace.

2. Stay active and keep employees motivated and active.

Maintaining a high-energy level is a main objective for HR managers seeking the best results for all parties concerned. Managers who care about employees know that keeping them active throughout the day benefits both the employees and company. A few strategic choices can make a lot of difference.

Taking walks to discuss something with an employee instead of a sit-down meeting is one idea. Forward thinking HR managers also provide the option of using standing desks. Since management always sets the tone and expectations, it is key that employees see HR managers taking frequent breaks and getting up to stretch or take a walk on a regular basis.

3. Verbally show your gratitude on a regular basis.

A simple “thank you” goes a long way with employees. While it is widely accepted that employees work for the money, what is also recognized by experienced HR professionals is that employees truly appreciate kind words and appreciation. These meaningful gestures boost morale and create a positive and welcoming work environment.

4. Implement fun and simple wellness initiatives.

Complicated changes are difficult to implement. Forming a walking club at lunch and changing out sugary, fat sweets and replacing them with fruit and healthy snacks in the break room are two simple ways to make a difference.

5. Offer classes to teach employees about stress-busting habits, nutrition and exercise programs.

Creating an environment where health and wellness are encouraged makes employees feel appreciated. By providing classes, employees can gain insights and knowledge about incorporating healthy habits into their life. This management practice helps staff members shift their mindset towards healthy habits and has proven to also lower costs related to healthcare expenses and lost productivity from work due to absenteeism.

6. Provide employees with 30-minutes of paid exercise time to be used at the company gym or to take an exercise class on-site.

One of the reasons employees don’t exercise is because they say they are too busy. That’s why it is so important for corporate HR professionals to strongly encourage healthy habits. Nothing shows corporate commitment to an idea like backing it financially.

7. Practice regular communication to discuss goals, challenges and progress.

Employees work best when they feel connected and can express their concerns about work objectives. There is nothing more frustrating than being charged with a responsibility but being unable to perform well due to a lack of resources like information, training or technology. By making it easy to obtain assistance or direction when necessary, employee morale remains high.

For example, if an employee is struggling with IT issues and can send a simple email to get immediate help, then stress levels and productivity are minimally impacted. There should never be any doubt in an employee’s mind about how to get the help they need.

Regular feedback about performance is also mandatory for morale and to achieve the best results. Without regular feedback, problems can spiral out of control impacting both the employee and company negatively. This is a communication issue and can be easily prevented with regularly-scheduled feedback from managers.

8. Commit adequate resources to train employees as needed.

Well-trained employees are happier and more prepared to meet corporate objectives. For best results, it is crucial that training classes are held regularly and as needed. Training manuals should also be upgraded and made available so that employees can consult them as needed.

Good training is the foundation for excellent performance and employee satisfaction. All employees want to do their best. It is important to remember that training tools should be designed for the different ways people learn.

Some staff members are audio learners and others do their best in hands-on learning environments. A third group wants to see their training materials in writing. Covering all the bases with a variety of training tools will yield the best results.

Final Thoughts

HR professionals have a lot of power to shape the workplace. By employing strategies aimed at making employees happier and more productive, any company stands to benefit.

People-oriented HR leaders recognize the fact that taking care of employees equates to taking care of the company.

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