I know I know… HR is normally the one breaking up parties and reminding everyone about company policy. This is all true, but I want to share some specific ways that HR teams can help maintain or advance your career.
1. Training and Development
Do you know what training resources are available to you? Would you like to have certifications compensated by your employer?
The first step to understanding what training opportunities are available to you is to take a little stroll over to HR. You may not have learned about the developmental programs during your on-boarding, but there still may be opportunities. A major area of an HR manager's role is to be aware of training initiatives and often companies have HR specialists focused on managing employee training. HR will also be able to talk through some of your career plans and help empower you to take professional development into your own hands. Training may mean different things to different people, however HR can help get you the development opportunities you are looking for.
2. Compensation and Benefits
Now this one really is for folks that may have an outside HR contact. I would not recommend going to your company's HR team and asking about compensation, however HR managers should understand the market rate of most common jobs. Recruiters would be a good resource as well. For example, let's just say that you are an accountant holding a CPA, with 3 years of experience. You are interested in knowing if your current compensation package is relative with the market. Most recruiters will be able to help. After learning about your skill set, the realistic pay standards you should have will be easier to determine when talking with a recruiter.
Compensation and benefits can also be confusing once you are considering a job opportunity. Most companies have specific HR personnel that manage these areas specifically. When you have questions on compensation or benefits and how they are determined or even the various benefits/perks your company offers, be sure to talk with an HR representative.
3. Employee Issues and Communication
Unfortunately, employee issues happen every once in a while. Maybe an employee has an issue with a bad manager or an employee has an issue with an under-performing employee... HR is available to help with employee issues when they arise. HR can help equip you with strategy and communication to deal with conflicts or even act as a mediator to determine a resolution.
The great thing about HR is that they are able to help ensure the best interests of the company when resolving issues. HR professionals will be able to determine the best way to handle situations while also being legally compliant.