The Secret to Great HR

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.

So, in your organization, to have great HR, the leadership in HR must have a great relationship with the leadership in Operations. I’m talking husband/wife great relationship, your best friend in the world type relationship, someone you could go on vacation for a week, and share a hotel room type relationship.  Not, I can ‘get along’ with them type relationships.

The blocking and tackling of HR isn’t difficult, but becomes incredibly difficult without support from your operation’s partner. People miss this and it’s very simple. Instead, in HR, we work to make new processes, new programs, better orientation, more specific recruiting plans, user-friendly HRIS, etc. Then, we get completely frustrated when we can’t get rank and file to follow some very simple steps to make it all run extremely smooth.


Because we mostly do all this HR stuff, without operations really buying into, or even wanting, our latest and greatest new thingy we just put together. Even though it’s for them, by the way!

If you have a strong relationship with Ops, they will tell you what they need, help you design it, roll it out for you, and make their own processes to ensure it’s followed. Wow! Doesn’t that sound nice? All because of a relationship.

The secret to Great HR has nothing to do with functional HR knowledge and expertise.  It has everything to do with your ability, from a position in HR, to build great two-way relationships across your organization, even with those functions you don’t like!

2 thoughts on “The Secret to Great HR

  1. Relationships with the business so they’ll let you do the HR things you want to do are important. But it can’t just be a personal relationship. It’s nice to give something back too. If HR can participate in helping the business think through and design its new processes (and capabilities, and recruitment plans and org structures to deliver them), then it will be perceived as a strategic partner. That’s a healthy 2-way relationship, and it’s one that HR should seek. Otherwise you’re always just asking permission…

  2. Couldn’t agree more. I’m privileged to part of a strong executive team that “has each other’s backs”. We’re more family than coworkers and genuinely care how our decisions impact each other and the organization as a whole. We have deep emotional banks so we can debate, disagree, and be in a continuous 360 mindset. It’s amazing.

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