A Day in an HR-Generalist’s Life

Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.- Author Unknown

Life as an HR generalist is different every moment. Even though the pattern may seem repetitive the uniqueness lies in every situation. A day begins with the communication through emails and meetings on HR processes. Ideally it would take an account of few escalations which have been received as of date and needs to be resolved on a priority basis. The trouble shooting begins with detecting the bottleneck and strike a solution to it. The risk mitigation is done for the future processes and avoid every collateral damages that might have happened in the meantime. For e.g.: During the performance appraisal an employee was explained the future goals but did not understand it, hence asked no questions. After the letters are distributed the employee expects a greater hike and a promotion. The employee is willing to resign if these requests are not considered. Hence, the discussion in the meeting held earlier, needs to be referred to make sure that the employee was made aware of the role which would be offered in the letter. Hence the training program was discussed along with the goal and career path in the horizontal shift was shared. Tradeoff needs to be shaped to ensure the engagement level through the performance measures. The employee needs to agree to the conditions mentioned and find the benefits in them, accordingly. Such escalations once managed needs to be followed up with counselling to ensure no damages have happened to the engagement level of both the manager and the reportee. This communication would be recorded in the employee file.

The day would further unfurl into managing other escalation due any disciplinary breach or any non-adherence. Once the escalation has been managed for the day, certain HR initiatives and organizational developmental program would be focussed. In case any program needs to be initiated, prepare towards it and implement as planned. For e.g.: If a new banding and grading structure is supposed to be implemented within the next quarter, tasks including collecting data and preparing for the broad banding exercise. Discussions with the business leaders and coordinating focus group meetings with the employees would be scheduled. The expectation of the employees and requirement from the management team would be drafted accurately. This would further require several communications to be shared across every level in the continuum. The mapping of the new grades and the salary structure needs to be explained to every employee through town halls and mass mailer. This would build confidence among the employees and ensure seamless implementation. Every day, the HR would require finishing the task scheduled on a daily basis, for this project.

This would then be followed by employee one-on-one. The employees would need to speak to the HR. They may have email id and telephone- helpdesk, yet the human interface would be required at certain cases. The employee interaction would further roll to solution oriented tasks. It may get closed the same day or roll into the next working days. For e.g.: If an employee has a difference in understanding of any organization policy such as benefits or success program. They may raise a request to meet their respective HR and discuss it. Escalation such as open door to HR necessitates to be attended on a priority basis. Any email communication would follow the same grid.

Apart from these inter-vertical interactions, any training or coaching requirement within the HR team would be dealt with. If the team members require any information and understanding in any area of HR, including the strategic, operational and technical user interface, they would be endowed with class-room based and on-the–job training sessions. The team may further have queries on HR functions to be delivered, hence they would need leadership to guide them to the right source of knowledge.

Finally conduct meetings with the business leaders to plan any future programs for their specific teams. Troubleshoot any escalation due to a glitch in an existing program which is being managed by the members under the leader’s guidance. Cul-de-sacs would be redirected to ensure continuity in the processes.  There would be certain days where organizational development activities would dominate other areas.  These may include orientation programs, town halls, employee engagement based events such as Idea Platform, process improvement, audits and etc. The day would end meaningfully with the fact that the best effort was put to find the right solution and add more value than what was created yesterday. In the words of Steve Maraboli, “Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you?”


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