After two years as an HR administrative assistant, I have been promoted to HR manager. I spent most of my time working with new-hire background checks, evaluations, insurance and payroll. What is the best way for me to quickly learn and apply the strategic aspects of HR management?
—First Step on New Journey, HR manager, manufacturing, Navasota, Texas
I lead the HR department of a company with between 30 and 40 employees. Due to our size, we in HR are generalists whose job duties include training, compensation and recruitment. We don't have specialized roles, but I have been asked to develop key performance indicators, or KPIs, for our employees in sales and accounting. This is the first time I've tackled this subject. Any advice on how I should start?
—Lost in Limbo, finance/insurance/real estate, Cairo, Egypt
We are in the process of rewriting job descriptions. What are some effective ways to do this without causing undue alarm? Are there a specific set of steps that companies should follow when tackling this project? And are there any good evaluation tools to assess how effective/complete our descriptions are?
—New Definitions, OD administrator, health care, Scottsdale, Arizona
I have been asked to assess the impact of new training, including learning content, rating instructors and evaluating program participants. How soon should I expect seeing results before I start my analysis?
—Hurry Up and Wait, training evaluation specialist, nonprofit, Gaithersburg, Maryland
We want to conduct cross-training sessions to help some employees acquire new skills. We also have employees that already perform these tasks and don't want them thinking our cross-training is a reflection on their performance. How should we handle this to make sure everyone's on the same page? Is there a better alternative?
—Don't Want Hurt Feelings, HR manager, finance/insurance/real estate, Grand Cayman
Here is our issue in a nutshell: we have a close-knit office and some employees have questioned the fairness of 360 feedback, since there is no way of knowing who says what about whom. What should we do?
—Stuck in the Middle, HR manager, health care services, Boise, Idaho
Some ideas have been presented by management to help employees identify areas of essential skills. One idea is to have employees complete a SWOT analysis. But employees have expressed a range of concerns about SWOT, including:
• Since I'm already doing more with less, when do I find time to complete the SWOT worksheet?
• If I identify threats, how will I be perceived by management?
• Since we have limited funds and can't give raises, how could we capitalize on opportunities that emerge from the analysis?
• Will I be considered a narcissist by management if I list things I do well?
• How do I list my strengths when I'm not even sure what they are?
—Can't Swat These Worries Away, OD director, government, Panama City, Florida
Is there a secret to recruiting people with leadership skills?
—Need a Formula, finance/insurance/real estate, Naperville, Illinois
How should our HR department be using big data? And how do we begin?
—HR senior consultant, services, Abu DhabiRead More
How do we facilitate a discussion with our employees on the meaning of career development? We want to ask probing questions that give us a meaningful plan of action. We know from a recent employee survey that most of our staff is not satisfied with our career development and we need to start a conversation to make improvements.
—Career Doldrums, assistant human resources manager, mining/oil/gas, Singapore