The Best HR Career Advice I’ve Heard This Month…Maybe All Year!

by Alan Collins

I recently participated in a panel discussion on managing your HR career.

One of the panelists shared this nugget of wisdom…

“My experience tells me that most operating managers and business leaders have more people problems than they can deal with.

And, if you’re in HR and they aren’t banging down YOUR door asking YOU for your advice in dealing with these issues, it’s for ONLY three reasons:

  1. They don’t know WHO you are.
  2. You’re not GOOD at what you do.
  3. They don’t TRUST you.

Sadly, any one of these reasons is the kiss of death for your HR career with that organization.

So make sure you’ve got all of them taken care of.”

Wow, I thought.




My question to you:  Do you have them all taken care of?

Do you agree or disagree with this advice?   What’s the best career advice you’ve heard recently?  Post your comments HERE.

About the author: Alan Collins was Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses. He is now President of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of the HR best seller, UNWRITTEN HR RULES . His new book, BEST KEPT HR SECRETS is now available on Amazon.

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14 Responses to “The Best HR Career Advice I’ve Heard This Month…Maybe All Year!”

  1. Alie Says:

    Thanks I will look up your books –

  2. hossam Says:

    Yes you correct , Most of manager’s and head of companies , doesn’t trust or believe ON HR

  3. Lori Minnis Says:

    Building trust with individual client groups and operating managers takes time, focus and patience. Trust is the critical, two-way communication that allows the HR practioner to understand their client group enough to offer the right HR solutiions.

  4. Alan Says:

    Lori – thanks, understanding the client group is an important key.

  5. Rodney U Bellamy Says:

    Most definitely, this is true and recommended. Every organization I’ve worked (except 1), my customers knew me, trusted me, and relied on me. And my peers’ customers knew me, trusted me, and would rely on me. And my senior & executive leadership have to come to know me, trust me, and rely on me.

  6. HRWritergalinOhio Says:

    My mangers come to me with employee issues, not business issues, even though I do all I can to learn our business.

    The biggest challenge with this is that the managers do not trust HR in general; has little to do with the individual HR person, they could be brilliant.

    I think the larger question should be what can HR do, that it isn’t doing already, to either rebuild that trust, or establish that trust?

    In my experience, a lot of the managerial mistrust comes from a lack of understanding of the business on HR’s part. I’m not saying this is every where, but when you ask one of your peers how their managers manage the sales force, and they tell you ‘they don’t know’. Well, that is red flag material right there.

    And even if that business acumen gap has been filled, there is still the stench of the ‘old’ HR that made it bad for every good HR professional coming after them.

    My 2 cents….

    Thanks Alan,

  7. Yuvarajah Says:

    Sad, but very true. It depicts the majority cases.

    Just want to add one more, in the event it is none of the first two and closely linked to the third – Trust.

    4. The manager is surrounded by hubris and ego, he thinks he knows more about HR and people management than HR.

  8. Alan Says:

    HRWritergalinOhio – Trust is a complex issue in that it can be driven by a number of factors. You make some great points in your post. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Alan Says:

    Yuvarahah – Thanks for the #4. Agree. Nice build.

  10. Ramakrishna Says:

    With great interesting i read the column posted above. I agree and will look upto it.

  11. Big D Says:

    Makes sense.

  12. Nina Daniel Says:

    If you’re waiting for the problems to come to you then you may be spending way too much time being reactive rather than proactive. Everyday I block out time to touch base with managers or employees. If you want to proffer a solution you better have your finger on the pulse of the problem.

  13. Alan Says:

    Well said Nina.

  14. Tony Pothitos Says:

    I am going to have to agree with Nina on this one 100%. If they are always knocking on my door, I should be finding an exit door to work as a DJ! Because your going to be hearing the “music”
    soon anyway!

    A few knocks are okay, but a battered door is another.