New to HR? Start By Understanding Your Coworkers

new to hr? start by understanding your coworkers

The first day of a new job can bring various emotions, especially when it is also your very first day in your career field. There is so much to learn, not only about the duties of your job but also the people you will now be working along side. You’ve landed the job and are now officially in the “HR Department.” It’s time to figure out how to properly be a part of the team and obtain the respect the company will need to have to trust you. This starts with getting to know your team.

As an HRNewbie, you may be coming from the world of school and that experience of group and project partners. Having coworkers that you are essentially responsible for is not the same thing. Read that last sentence again. Being genuinely happy or concerned for what is going on with your coworkers’ life does not mean your coworkers are your friend. Read that sentence again too. Finding the perfect balance can be a difficult task, especially for an HRNewbie, but it is important that you create boundaries and know the difference.

Understanding Your Coworkers

Your team members and co-workers are all different, we are all human, so we have different moods, feelings on certain days and we react to situations differently.

I’ve had to deal with coworkers that seek validation from others and learn how to deal with them. While it may be annoying to me, it’s important to them. Team members who believe they are managers and get a rise out of telling others what to do, in a nonrespectful way. Managers who thought they knew best because of a title. These are all natural feelings that as HR you must learn to recognize and how to deal with.

Being new to HR means on day one you might be thrown into a dispute, argument, training problem, you’re not going to be able to figure it all out that day, but being open to learning and understanding will help you get your organization exactly where it needs to be.

Employee engagement becomes better when our employees believe that HR will at least listen to their concerns or frustrations. Don’t just come in the door searching for paperwork, I promise you, it will still be there when you sit down at your desk. Have employee building activities to find out what motivates these new employees you are now responsible for, learn their names, their roles, observe a day in each department.

All of these examples are ways to help you understand what it will be like working with so many different people. You are now the safe haven for your team and they deserve to know you’ll be by them every step of the way on their journey!

Jazmine Wilkes

Proud millennial human resource leader focused on sharing HR insights, learnings and resources. Sharer of memes. Author of HRJazzy. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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