Sphere of influence

As an HR professional, what is your sphere of influence?

This was one of the conversations I witnessed this past weekend as I took part in an event called HRevolution. It was an amazing event that gathered fifty HR professionals together for a closer look at social media, HR\’s role in the workplace, networking, and more. The question above was dropped during the session where the participants discussed the best ways for HR professionals to make a difference in their organizations.

Spinning wheels

For some of the participants, I got the impression that they were working furiously just to stay afloat. When you\’re spinning your wheels on a daily basis, it\’s quite difficult to see where your efforts are actually making a difference. From personal experience, I can tell you that I know what it\’s like. It can be disheartening. If you are focusing your efforts on changing a large group of people, most of them will never get enough guidance or attention to actually make a change.

Take three

One of the participants at the event, Paul Hebert of Incentive Intelligence (a brilliant writer whose work you should be reading!), gave a relatively simple answer to this problem. His solution was for HR professionals to target a small handful of people to influence. Spend your time developing and mentoring three of the best managers you have. When you have done what you can with those managers, help them to do the same for three more supervisors. You can continually focus on your core group of leaders and they can each spread that knowledge and expertise much farther than you could have if you were trying to go solo.

In an ironic sort of way, the smaller the area where you focus your efforts, the more impact you can have on your organization.

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2 thoughts on “Sphere of influence

  1. Paul Paris

    After every gathering such as HR Revolution, I read blogs which talk about someone’s simple solution or answer to a problem however the concept is not new such as the answer given by Paul Hebert. HR whether it be in a small to midsize firm or large corporation should always be working with groups of manager as partners to discuss how they can work together to benefit one another and the company, then from there pass it down throughout the company. Lately, however the trend has moved away from that thinking because hiring managers have gained the upper hand in most companies. HR and training have become an expense that many companies are looking at cutting or have already reduced to the minimum. Many companies have outsourced whichever parts of HR they feel they need to save money. Until HR begins to gain the upper hand again and show that they are a vital part of an organization which I believe they are but many company executives don\’t then HR Professional will be trying to stay afloat for some time to come.

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