In essence, the challenge you face in human capital management is to take a group of individual employees and make them greater together than the sum of their parts. Everyone has talent to offer – some work best independently while others collaborate well with teams of co-workers, but everyone brings something to the table. Your job in HCM is to put it all together.
This process is guaranteed to go more smoothly if you have employees on your team who are willing to help. Sometimes, your greatest assets in management are your team members who have a passion for bringing people together and forging connections between co-workers. These employees grease the wheels of your organization and make everything else easier.
In short, what we’re talking about is “office ambassadors.” According to the Society for Human Resource Management, every office needs them. Just as the United Nations includes ambassadors from various countries who are tasked with leading negotiations and smoothing over international relations, your office should have people from various departments and teams who serve the same purpose. Rue Dooley, an HR knowledge advisor for SHRM, emphasized the importance of these workers.
“The ambassador’s job includes relaying the policies of her own country while keeping the leaders of her nation informed of the climate and events in the host country,” Dooley explained. “In cubicle terms, that means being able to communicate your role’s significance while staying abreast of the ‘climate and events’ of coworkers, your boss, the board, customers, clientele, competitors, the market at large, the business and the industry.”
So what does it take for an employee to be an ambassador? What skills do they need? The following are five traits that every ambassador is blessed with.
Understanding of office dynamics
Just as every UN ambassador has a solid understanding of their nation’s political machinations and the basic underpinnings of foreign policy, your office’s ambassadors should have the same skills. In other words, they should know how employees, teams and departments work together to achieve their goals.
Strong problem-solving skills
A good diplomat must be able to step up and negotiate solutions to difficult problems as they arise in the office. Do you have employees who are able to deliver during turbulent times?
A focus on team development
It’s one thing to be a skilled worker in an individual setting, but building teams and getting them to work together is an entirely different challenge. It requires understanding interpersonal dynamics and finding out how employees mesh with one another.
A positive, “can-do” attitude
If an employee backs away from a challenge and fails to deliver his best work, he probably isn’t going to make the best ambassador. You’re looking for workers who have a positive attitude and are confident in their abilities to come through.
A willingness to work
Every high-performing employee gets where they are with a good work ethic, but that’s especially important when it comes to ambassadorship. Finding diplomatic solutions to office political issues is hard work, and you need someone who’s willing to grind away at it.