The best advice I could give any one moving into their first management post.
There are lots of articles about why people hate HR and very few on why you should befriend at least one person in HR. The job is about people management as much as managing the budget and most managers find that the people they work with cause them more problems than the budget. Whether it’s a personality conflict between two of your team which is creating an uncomfortable working environment, a “ difficult” member of staff making your life more stressful or a lack of cooperation from colleagues undermining your authority and ability to deliver your friend in HR will have come across this many times before and have some practical advice. One thing HR like is managers who are prepared to manage their staff, that is managers who challenge inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour like sexism, racism and homophobia. They will support you if you decide to take a stand against bad practise and they will back you if you tackle absenteeism. If as an inexperienced manager you let your enthusiasm led you into rash actions then they will dig you out of the whole you have dug for yourself. Like any real friend they will tell you if you have over reacted or are in the wrong, they will sympathise and understand and suggest how you can put it right. You will be a better manager for making HR your friend.
Blair McPherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk