At Work: Human resources - My top tips - Valerie McGlinchey, HRdirector, The Stroke Association

REVIEW YOUR PROCEDURES

You should also be open to considering that there may be more effective ways of doing things.

For example, our old induction programme followed the standard pattern of directors doing a PowerPoint presentation. When you are new to an organisation and taking in a lot of information at induction, this isn't the most scintillating way to pick things up.

We now have each of our directors take part in a Parkinson-style interview, in which the training and development manager does the interviewing.

They sit down in front of the inductees and the director answers a series of questions that are designed to highlight points and give information.

It's been very well received, partly because it's more informal and practical.

As a result, far more questions are asked by new recruits.

TREAT EVERY DAY AS A NEW DAY

It might be a bit corny, but the difficulty with HR is that things can get very pressured and situations get very tense. People can get very upset and very emotional at times during their work.

As an individual, it is also important to have your own outlets, as well as people you can talk to and who can support you when necessary.

Learn from the people around you, particularly in the charity sector, where there is a wide range of opportunities to meet a variety of people.

KEEP TALKING

This was the best advice I've received, given to me when I had difficulty relating to a member of staff. The natural human reaction when you find it difficult to deal with someone is not to talk. Active listening is also crucial, because by doing that you can really understand and acknowledge what the person is saying. So persevere with communication.

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