But wait - don't leave yet! There's a secret I want you to know about HR that was highlighted via this book. One of the early nuggets in the book is universally despised NBA great Isiah Thomas telling Simmons the "secret" of winning in basketball, which Tim Sackett captured from the book over at Fistful of Talent as follows:
Nice advice and easily transferred to any team environment. Isiah means you shouldn't worry about how many shots you get, how many points you score, etc. Sackett followed that quote by sharing his Secret to Great HR over at FOT:
"The secret is extraordinarily simple, it's all about a few close relationships. Depending on what type of organization you come from, it has to do with the relationship you have with those who are running operations. First, every organization has some type of operation - meaning every organization produces something - product, service, etc. Even in church, the pastor runs operations - sharing the gospel with people, for example."
Go read Tim's whole post at FOT, because it's a good one. I'm going to throw my own two cents into the conversation and tell you what I consider to be the Secret to Great HR. Here's my advice:
"Find a way to say yes."
Period. Next question.
Find a way to say yes - that's the secret to great HR. To build on Tim's thoughts, finding a way to say "yes" is how you develop relationships with the folks in operations. For years, many in operations have been scarred by less than satisfactory relationships with HR types. Ask enough questions, and you'll find that's because they're used to the "command and control" version of HR, one that specialized in saying no.
You want to be great HR? Find a way to say yes. Then watch how the operations folks start digging you.
To be clear, that doesn't mean you roll over on things that are harmful to the organization. Instead, it means you pick your battles, say yes outright to as many small things as you can and don't sweat the small stuff. Then, when the stakes are high and you need them to do "stuff" to make their solutions palatable, you say yes, then tell them the 1 or 2 things you need before you can agree with or implement their solution.
Because you say yes as much as you can, the ops folks hear you asking for 1 or 2 things before they get to do what they want, and guess what - they'll actually want to help do the right thing.
The secret to great HR - find a way to say yes.