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Problems to avoid as an HR professional

Date posted:  6/10/15 12:15:00 PM Your company's Human Resources department is vital to success.

There are plenty of leaders in the Human Resource industry that are doing a great job guiding their respective companies. There's also a slew of HR professionals that are struggling to keep up with the times. According to Tim Sackett, an HR consultant and blogger, there are a few traits generally exhibited by subpar HR leaders, which those in the industry should try to avoid.

Not taking the right type of risks
There are always certain dangers lying in the weeds when operating a business, but recognizing these dangers is key to a successful venture. In many cases, you have to take risks in order to create a successful business. Sackett believes that HR leaders aren't taking enough risks.

"Lousy HR leaders love to cover their own (butt) more than any other single thing they do," Sackett told Human Capital Magazine. "Organizations take risk every single day. It's not HR's job to eliminate risk, it's our job to champion appropriate risk and be all in with our business partners."

Gathering poor data
Information is often the lifeline of a business, so when an HR leader fails to track the proper results or quantify what really matters to a company, conclusions and judgments will be made that can hurt the business of a company. Sackett said many HR leaders place more of an emphasis on looking like they're doing well than actually finding out whether their choices are making an impact with the company.

Failing to articulate the company vision
HR leaders need to be a step ahead, carefully predicting what their company needs. If an HR professional starts to ignore certain area that need improvement or the need to realign certain divisions, the business will suffer.


"Another sign of lousy leadership is when your leader just uses the organization vision and can't break it down to a functional level," Sackett said. "This is just flat out lazy."

But the tough discussions that HR professionals need to have are often the most difficult, which is usually what separates the great HR leaders from the terrible ones.

 Sackett said it's crucial that the HR department of each business make the expectations of a business clear. They must also address any misconceptions and assess problems beyond the surface level.

"Most leadership fails at this, but HR can't," he said. "We have to be the coaches for all other leadership in our organization. If anyone knows how to have a tough conversation, it has to be HR."