Whether you’re just starting out in HR or you’ve recently been appointed a more senior role within the industry, you should strive to hit the ground running and make a positive impact on your organisation. Keeping the following points in the forefront of your mind will get your new role off to the right start and put you on the path to excellence.
- Know your role
For HR professionals who have the appetite to get ahead from the start, it’s crucial to be armed with an in-depth insight into what is going on across your organisation. Understanding your organisation will help you better understand your role within it, which is essential preparation for when you are ready to go the extra mile.
Start by becoming familiar with the structure of the organisation and the professionals driving it. But don’t stop there – go further by understanding the niche areas in HR. Knowing the nuts and bolts of pay and reward or employment law for example will give your work a well-informed edge and help you chip in where others might not be able to.
Even if there are gaps in your knowledge of your organisation or sector which at first get in the way of you being fully confident in your abilities to prosper in your role, be patient with yourself. Make a plan to bridge these gaps and don’t be afraid to ask your line manager for support. It may take some time, but building a comprehensive knowledge of your role when you start will allow you to naturally excel over time.
- Befriend your strengths and weaknesses
It is essential to know and believe in your unique value in order to capitalise on it. You have been appointed to your position by merit of your strengths, so try to reflect on the skills that have already made you stand out from other candidates. Asking yourself why did they hire me? puts you in the point of view of the employer and can make your strengths more transparent to you.
On the other hand, it is also hugely important to know your weaknesses. Reflecting on your weaknesses is to bring awareness to areas that you could improve on and how you can turn these areas into strengths. Knowing what you’re good at and what you’re not will help you utilise the skills you possess to get your role off to a strong start. If you’re having trouble tapping into what your skills are and the situations in which to apply them, performing a personal SWOT analysis on yourself can be a useful tool.
- Don’t go it alone
Support from your colleagues is crucial at any stage of your career but is particularly beneficial if you’re new. Your ability to do a good job relies heavily on the calibre of your team, so value their input and seek out opportunities to collaborate with them. If you’re in a management position, spend time building and developing the best possible team to represent you. Having the backing of your team will be hugely valuable when you are trying to make a good impression.
Finding an established leader who started in a similar position to you can also be very helpful. They will be able to provide you with guidance and reassurance, and perhaps offer you opportunities which will help you get to where you want to go. Some organisations will offer mentoring programmes, and many well-known leaders also publish accessible content online. Sharing experiences and receiving advice from someone you admire will be hugely helpful when you start your role and channel you in a direction which helps you excel.