What is HR?

What is HR?

What does it take to be a good HR manager? In this blog, Leroy Li, the HR (Human Resources) manager at U+, gives us a better understanding of what the human resources department entails. 

The human resources department is generally responsible for taking care of employees’ needs, from onboarding to termination. Creating and updating employee handbooks, maintaining organization between departments and employees, and training new employees are just a few of the HR team’s duties. 

In this article, we discuss many topics with Leroy including resolving conflict, motivating employees to work towards company goals, and enforcing personnel policies.

Why did you decide to join the U+ HR Team?

For Leroy, taking on the responsibility of acting as  HR manager gave him the opportunity to grow outside of his comfort zone. He also felt this job was a good fit as he enjoys working with others and gets many opportunities to do so given the fact that HR is centered around communication.

What is your favourite aspect of working at U+?

At U+ Education, Leroy is allowed to teach students as well! As a university geography student, he values teaching geography and sustainability because he is passionate about these topics. 

What are the qualities of an effective HR Manager?

Effective multitasking, teamwork, leadership, time management, organization, interpersonal skills, and the ability to be authoritative when necessary to build/strengthen your reputation.

How do you keep employees motivated while working towards U+ goals?

Leroy advises that you learn and understand who you are working with both personally and professionally, especially when working virtually, to create a community. 

This is also important in fostering an office culture that is inclusive of all employees. Giving employees challenges also keeps them motivated to achieve higher goals. 

What do you consider most important in upkeeping morale?

Creating an environment where employees can give feedback without external pressure allows everyone’s concerns to be heard. 

Hosting community events such as Trivia Nights also helps employees feel more comfortable with other employees and management.

What was a time you encountered an office conflict? How did you resolve it?

During the first couple weeks of the fall semester, university co-op students experienced some confusion with the onboarding process as they did not feel prepared for their assigned roles and tasks. 

Therefore, Leroy connected with each student via one-on-one meetings to check in on their progress and clarify any questions they had. He also contacted the co-op director to discuss the students’ situation and negotiate tasks to avoid overburdening them. Finally, the U+ education director was then informed of the situation. 

When working remotely, how do you enforce and maintain personnel policies?

1-V-1 meetings! One-on-one meetings are personal and allow employees to express their worries and concerns in a safe environment. Aside from check-in meetings, 1-V-1 meetings also allow managers to set expectations and track projects.

What are 5 skills that you consider crucial to becoming a successful HR manager?

According to Leroy. the following skills, when intertwined, create an effective and efficient HR Manager:

1. Communication: Understanding the difference between professional and personal communication is essential to navigating office situations. 

2. Interpersonal Skills: Having the ability to acknowledge various emotions within employees aids in identifying their needs.

3. Organization and Multitasking: Organization is a must have to keep yourself on track, and when using a shared business account, prevent confusion when sharing information.

4. Time management: This is needed to effectively schedule meetings and tasks to avoid disrupting deadlines.

5. Collaboration: This is often used when meeting external stakeholders and business partners.

What does it mean to be a part of HR?

Overall, having an open mindset to understand others’ emotions and feelings creates stronger relationships resulting in better communication, fewer conflicts, and increases employee satisfaction in the workplace. People are at the center of any business, and to be an effective HR manager, your job involves guiding and catering to people.

Interested in joining U+?

Interested in joining the staff at U+? Apply now on our website to join as a full time employee, a university or high school co-op, or as a volunteer!

~ Natalia Extavour 

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