Magazine article Workforce

Building Trust Is a Good HR Habit

Magazine article Workforce

Building Trust Is a Good HR Habit

Article excerpt

Its hard to think of anyone else who has touched more business leaders' lives over the last 20 years than Stephen R. Covey. His book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People (Fireside, 1990), remains the business book with the longest reign on The New York Times' business best-seller list. He has written a number of other best-selling books, and he's also a lecturer, trainer educator, and board member and co-founder of Franklin Covey Co., based in Provo, Utah.

Bob Rosner sat down recently with Dr. Covey in New York City to talk about the role of human resources in today's corporation.

I once heard from an HR director who complained that he felt like he was stuck at the "children's table" while the "adults" were in the next room making all the decisions. What are your thoughts on this?

Human resources [leaders] can definitely get to the adults' table, but they have to learn how to speak the language of the adults. Most of them have become seduced by the politicized culture of their corporations. They become part of the "kiss up" approach; they sell out. And so they essentially reduce themselves to doing just the old personnel functions.

So what does a human resources leader do to avoid selling out?

First, be more true to professional principles than [to the] company. Integrity is the highest expression of loyalty to the company. Second, understand the perspective and context of the decision makers and their language. Focus on the bottom line, helping integrate all strategies of the company to accomplish it and show how the human resources strategy is the enabler of everything else. Third, don't fall into the trap of just finding fault with the decision makers. Be a part of the process and be a good example. Finally, develop professional expertise and your own personal marketability. Then you're not running scared of the boss's opinions because that's what causes people to "kiss up. …

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