This video discusses the value of how an HR administrative professional can offer excellent customer service to employees and managers, and offer tips for doing so on the phone and in person. In this tutorial, human resources professional consultant and trainer Catherine Mattice offers tips on how to interact with current and potential employees to ensure they are treated well and to build a positive reputation for your company.
- When I was the director of HR for a small business, back in the early 2000s, people used to joke that they dreaded hearing my voice over their telephone intercom. "Janet, can you come to my office "when you get a chance, please?" Why did I make them so nervous? Well, their perception was that I held the key to their pay, their vacation time, their performance evaluations, their benefits, and basically, their job. While that's not entirely true, that was their perception because my job was related to all of those things. I quickly realized the employees should be treated like my customers.
Think about your recent experiences with customer service. What made you want to continue to do business with that person or company? Relationships in HR are similar, so let's examine how human resources can provide good customer service to employees. You are often the first interaction people have with your company. If you're doing any recruiting and interviewing, the candidates are forming opinions about your organization, based on you. Rudeness, for example, will do a lot more than harm the person at the receiving end. Your reputation will spread through your business community through social media and word of mouth.
You could also lose a great candidate who turns down the job offer because they didn't enjoy their interactions with you, personally. Just like businesses lose customers when they don't provide great service. What about a new hire's first day of work? Your job is to get them the right paperwork to fill out, provide guidance and training, and ensure they have the resources they need. If you aren't ready to dedicate your day to this new hire, you could lose out on turning them into a top performer. A salesperson wouldn't show up to a meeting with a potential customer unprepared and you shouldn't show up to a new hire's first day unprepared either.
Another thing to remember is that you have to understand your customer's needs. It's important to listen. What if an employee wants to talk to you about their compensation package or a problem with their paycheck? If you appear irritated or impatient, that can damage the employee's morale because they think the organization doesn't care, because you represent the organization. Worse, you could discourage employees from bringing issues to you that certainly require your attention, such as a complaint of sexual harassment. So, where do you start? Think about the acronym CARES, which stands for courtesy, attentive, responsive, empathetic, and solution oriented.
Always remember that your customer is the employee. Return calls and emails in a timely manner, smile, actively listen, take the extra step when you can, ask if they need anything else from you before they leave your office, and underpromise while overdelivering. Now, just like anyone in customer service, you may get some difficult customers along the way, but they deserve excellent customer service too. An aggravated customer or employee can be a strenuous experience, but one thing you can do right away is to stay calm and breathe.
As you maintain self-control, the employee's tone will hopefully relax a little. Let the employee vent. Everyone wants to be heard. Even if you think you know the end of the story, they need you to listen. Let them talk and when they're finished, work with them to resolve the problem. Show them empathy. Make it clear to employees you are listening by paraphrasing, nodding your head, and even taking notes. Finally, solve the problem as soon as you can, or keep your customers updated on when the problem will be solved, if it's going to take a while.
Even better, empower them to solve their own problem. Also, many businesses offer customer satisfaction surveys to ensure they are meeting the needs of customers and fill in any gaps where they are not. You might consider doing the same. Check out the exercise files for this course for a brief survey template. Remember, as the first point of contact, you can make all the difference in an employee's career by providing excellent customer service, from their first day until their last day at your company.
HR consultant Catherine Mattice outlines some of the considerations of the human resources professional, such as balancing the needs of employees with the interests of the organization. She reveals how to conduct an HR audit to identify HR practices that need improvement. She then outlines core HR responsibilities: staffing, training, documentation, compensation and benefits, performance reviews, job descriptions, compliance with state and federal regulations, and more.
- Building trust with employees
- Conducting an HR audit
- Classifying employees
- Setting up compensation and benefits
- Creating and enforcing company policies
- Writing job descriptions
- Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees
- Managing employee performance
- Training employees
- Disciplining employees