One of the critical roles of HR teams is to settle disputes and worries in the company, which they can’t do if no one is willing to use them as mediators. When your employees know they can turn to the HR department with problems that need to be solved, they will enlist professional help instead of trying to fix big disputes themselves. This could avoid major fallouts and extended arguments that affect employee productivity. Here are four ways that you can make HR more approachable and trustworthy.
1. Be Efficient and Effective
No one wants to turn to an HR department that can’t get anything done. For example, if HR is known to take months to fix a minor issue, whenever an issue of any size appears employees will be inclined to try and fix it themselves, sometimes causing bigger issues. However, if HR is known to be discreet and effective, employees will know the HR teams are competent and resourceful. By making sure HR is consistently efficient, employees will be encouraged to trust them with important problems and issues.
2. Be Available
Employees won’t approach an HR department that is hidden away, or who treats complaints as nuisances. Being available means being available both physically (in the office) and mentally (in your attitude while addressing concerns) to solve problems and gain results. For example, you could have an office directory where employees can easily find the office phone numbers of HR team members. The directory could also list the specialties and responsibilities so employees will know exactly who to call with their particular concerns.
3. Be Knowledgeable
Being knowledgeable does more than just make HR more approachable, it also ensure problems are handled expertly and accurately. In addition to demonstrating knowledge gained through education and experience, which will earn trust and faith with employees, your HR teams must understand rules and regulations when it comes to compliance. For example, when working through a workplace harassment complaint, HR should be trusted to handle confidentiality and proper protocol. Being knowledgeable also ensures trust in their decisions and recommendations for next steps.
4. Use Multiple Forms of Communication
Just like your customers are available on different platforms (social media, website, in-person, calls), so are your employees. Some of your employees may prefer to speak to HR in person, others might prefer emails or even SMS. The key to making HR more approachable is to allow employees to speak on their terms. First, provide multiple ways an employee can contact HR with a concern, and then be just as responsive and helpful in each communication channel.