By Perminus Wainaina
Human Resource is an integral department in any business. Your success in undertaking your tasks will reflect on both the employees and the management.
However, you also need to focus on your career. How do ensure you’re growing as a professional?
An effective way to measure growth is by looking at the skills you’ve gained. What skills have you natured recently?
In HR, there are integral skills to help you succeed both as a manager and in your career. Most of these skills can be learned by taking up a short course.
Most short courses are practical and targeted solely to one skill, making them a lot more effective and time conscious.
Rose is the HRO at a publishing company. She has been with the organization for six years now. Recently, she started applying for jobs in other organizations. She was targeting a managerial role in HR.
However, her application was unsuccessful for every HRM job she applied to. After several failed attempts, she contacted several hiring managers in a bid to see why she was not getting shortlisted.
They all told her the same thing; she did not have the skills they were looking for.
Rose reached out to me, she wanted to know what these skills are, and how she can attain them.
I have compiled a list of the most essential short courses to help you grow in your career.
1. Emotional intelligence
What is emotional intelligence, and how can learning this help your career?
Emotional intelligence –also known as EQ, is awareness of emotions and learning how to control these emotions in various perspectives.
Emotions can either help you or work against you.
Take empathy for example. Putting yourself in the shoes of the employees will help you understand them better. As a result, you’ll be in a better position to relate to the struggles they’re facing, and the best way to solve the challenges.
When you learn how to control your emotions, you’ll be able to fit in various capacities in the workplace.
Studies have shown that most successful leaders possess a high EQ, as opposed to IQ.
2. Leadership skills
Leadership skills involve the ability to lead and guide employees towards the company’s chief goal.
In other words, to be an effective leader, you’ll have to look at the bigger picture, break it down to what each employee needs to do towards achieving this, and then guide them in the most effective way to follow through the targets.
While dealing with employees, your leadership and guidance skills will help form the departments and individual employees.
For example, when you hire an employee, you can be able to tell the skills they have, and where best they would fit. The employee also hopes you’ll be able to guide them to a position where they’ll flourish.
When it comes to the top management, leadership plays a key part in supervising employees, and on the frontline of trends that affect the organization –especially those that touch on your department.
Displaying leadership qualities will help you manage the employees, and lead the company in matters related to HR.
3. Change management skills
When your company wants to improve performance or is undertaking a new project or initiative, there are changes throughout the organization.
Some of the changes that will happen include job roles, changes in processes, organization structure, and even the technology used.
In most cases, it is the employees that will have to change how they operate. If the change is seamless, your organization will be able to follow through with the long term goals.
However, not all employees can embrace change that easily.
When you have training in change management, you’ll be able to effectively guide the employees into the new system and structure.
Change management skills will help you manage employees better. This could be a whole department or even a single employee when they’re changing a department or roles.
4. Communication skills
Effective communication is the productive relay of information from the source to a recipient. At the workplace, effective communication forms the backbone and culture of an organization.
When there is clear communication, everyone knows what they ought to do, and when an employee is not performing, you can clearly see who it is. On the flip side, where there’s a breakdown in communication, services will be affected, customer and client satisfaction will suffer, and the management will be unclear on what’s working and what isn’t, and the specific actions needed to fix what’s not working.
The HR department stands and the communication gap between the management and the employees. When you build on your communication skills, you’ll not only have an easier time getting your message across, you’ll also be able to streamline communication within the organization.
When there is effective communication, the whole organization thrives. You, however, have to initiate effective communication by improving your communication skills as a manager.
At the end of the day, the professional skills you grow will have a direct impact on your success. Additionally, when you’re applying for a different job or eyeing a promotion, these skills will help vouch for you and your ability to execute various tasks.
Perminus Wainaina is an experienced HR Practioner with over 15 years experience in executive recruitment and selection, training, performance management, and Kenyan labour laws.
He has consulted for firms such as Safaricom Sacco, Oxfam, Un Women, Pacis Insurance, Windsor Golf, Muthaiga Country Club, etc. Currently, he represents the private sector at KEBS in the HR standardization committee.