Best Practices in HR

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Lori Kleiman
  July 21, 2018

How the HR Department of One Gains Authority to Make an Impact

Being an HR Department of One can feel lonely, but there are more out there than you think. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) estimates that 25% of their membership is now comprised of HR Departments of one. We know that their annual conference has steadily grown its efforts to address this critical audience.

Often, small HR departments are so focused on getting the work done, they miss the big picture of the business. At the Tuesday and Wednesday presentations of the SHRM 2018 convention, one topic we will cover is the ability to gain authority through credibility, reach, and influence. It’s not always about the title you are given formally. Many HR leaders find that informal authority they gain from employees is even more powerful than a title.

How the HR Department of One Gains Authority through Credibility


Credibility is the confidence that others have in your knowledge of the subject area. This is essential given all the compliance issues in human resources. One of the ways HR leaders find credibility is through the certification process.

SHRM recently shared an article by an HR Department of One talking about how important certification was to her success. There are a number of different credentials available today though, so be sure to explore the one that is right for you.

3 ways the #HR #DOO gains greater authority in #business: credibility, reach, and influence. #HumanResources

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How the HR Department of One Gains Authority through Reach

Connecting with those throughout the organization, at all levels, is a component of reach that can’t be overlooked. And reaching outside the organization for success and options is essential as well. As an HR Department of One, your human capital initiatives can come from others and be adapted for use within your organization. Making those connections will also help you feel like part of a community, not just someone on an island doing it all yourself.

HR Department of One

How the HR Department of One Gains Authority through Influence

Having influence is a soft skill you will develop by engaging with others. Be that person inside the organization who can see things with an outsider’s view. Don’t be afraid to give your opinion if you think inventory is not being handled correctly or if you believe a customer should be contacted for additional sales. Your expertise may be in HR, but your influence will come from being a sounding board throughout the organization.

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Making an Impact In Business as the HR Department of One

This is just one small part of how you can expand your visibility as an HR Department of One.

In our Wednesday session at SHRM18, Demystifying HR for the Department of One, we’ll share many more ideas to help you embrace your role. Most of all, the session will allow you to make new connections and remind you that you aren’t alone as an HR Department of One!

Oh, and before you go, make sure to download your free tools. We’ll be discussing how to use these at the convention, so make sure to get them before Tuesday.

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