Ultimately, the number one job of a human resources department is to help make a company a better place to work. It’s as simple as that, even though it’s much easier said than done! When a company is the kind of place people want to work, then the work they do is better, and the organization as a whole can thrive. Though the cut of men’s suits may have changed over the years and the way women wear their hair may have gone full circle and back many times over, the facts still remain that an HR department has to keep employees motivated today in much the same manner as they always have.
Any experienced human resource professional will tell you that running a successful company is as much about psychology as it is about logistics, and is as much about politics and diplomacy as it is about accounting and payroll. On television shows such as “Mad Men” or “30 Rock” we might see so-called Alpha types of characters, who conduct their business in a swaggering, Devil May Care type of way, but the fact is that the best way to relate to co-workers and support staff employees is always with respect and interest, never with hubris and bravado. And that was as true back in the 1960s when Don Draper’s character was swilling Scotch at work as it is today, when a more common lunch break activity might include a spin class and a smoothie instead of a drink and a cigarette!
You will find that the best human resources department managers are the people who both have an educational background in management and human resources with a wide range of exposure to various HR-related issues, and who have also come up through the ranks of a business, actually holding many of the job positions and titles that are now occupied by the people they oversee. The mix of academic experience from a paired with the practical experience that comes from actually working in an office for a number of years not only tends to lead people to be efficient managers, but actually leads to more compassion and patience with employees, not the other way around, even though we may see upper managers as more brash and egoistic characters on TV! By having worked in the “trenches,” as the daily grind is so often called, management level staff members can get an appreciation for the right way to relate to those who work technically underneath them, but who are every bit part of the team and working toward the common good of the company.
A human resources degree is an integral part of any successful HR department manager’s resume, because in a classroom setting, you can be exposed to a whole host of potential issues and problems that may only arise in the “real world” on rare occasions. By having taken the time to study and earn that degree, you increase the likelihood of having seen an issue, at least in an academic setting, when it pops up, so you won’t be left floundering, trying to solve an issue that has just suddenly arisen and that is totally foreign to you! Experience breeds calm and wisdom, and academics give the context in which you can employ those assets!
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“Business Success Pyramid” by Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.Net