02 Sep Learn To Say No
Human Resources is the heart of any company, no matter the size or location. Because of your department, you procure, secure, develop and implement every employee in the building. You are, in fact, the most popular person there and everyone knows your name. Potential candidates enter your doors, and just like the heart, you pump them through the correct streams to do a specific function best suited for them at a destined department. Because you were the first contact they ever had to the company they are working now at, they feel familiar and safe around you. Which is both a blessing and a curse.
The Blessing Of Being You
A blessing because you want the employees to feel comfortable with you and trust you. This will ensure that the “open door” policy you gave them when you sent them on the way out the door once the employment contract was signed stays enforced. They will feel safe to come to you in any situation.
The Curse Of Being You
But here is where the curse comes in. They, more times than not, forget to go through the proper channels first. They bypass the managerial hierarchy of authority, skipping past talking to their line manager, assistant manager and senior manager before reaching your door. Yes, some cases allow the bypass pass. But let’s be honest, the percentage of ‘talks’ that comes knocking on your door could efficiently have been dealt with by the managerial line-up. What to do, what to do.
Guide And Reaffirm The Process
If it’s the first time that the employee bypasses the line, take a breath and deal with the issue. During and at the end of the process, explain and affirm to the employee how the managerial line of complaints and issues work. Well, will you look at this? You are now also teaching the employee. You can tick that off your to-do list for the day. But here is where you need to become assertive. Once the same employee returns for another issue, ask if he spoke to his line manager first. If not, send him on his merry way and reaffirm again that this is the process. Saying no, without the harsh edge. And repeat the process every time he comes back to your door. You are not hitting the “open-door” policy in their face. You are reaffirming company processes.
Not Part Of Your Scope
You will think that it’s just employees that will forget your primary function, but no. Even people in power positions do need a couple of reaffirmations. Some of the requests that run past your desk or inbox are way out of your job description. You, more times than not, ask yourself, do they even know what I do here? When you look at the email complaints, like the gutter on the left side of the building is broken, take a breath and count to ten. Respond and say that they must send it to maintenance. If the maintenance employee is not in that day, send a recommendation for them to contact, like Gutter Boy Cleaning, and then remind them to send these types of requests to maintenance. The following email that comes from them again does not fall within your job description. Keep educating them where it should go.
Your job description is already so robust, and you have a problem-solving personality. But you can’t take on tasks that don’t fall within your scope or deviate from company processes. So keep your eyes on your department goal, and your no’s assertive.
About the author
Jeremy Bowler is a full-time copywriter of five years specialising in business and finance. Jeremy graduated from the University of Chester with degrees in business accounting and finance. He’s an avid traveller and has taught English in Nepal, Malaysia, and Japan and has produced copy for Neil Patel, Entrepreneur and Metro amongst many other high-end publications.