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Women in Industry: Trena Harris

Trena Harris
Company: Doosan Industry Vehicle America
Title: General Manager, Human Resources
Years on Job: 4

I provide HR services to our employees at three Atlanta, Georgia-area locations and one office in California. These services include recruiting, benefits, compensation, performance management, employee relations, training, risk management and compliance. I also serve on the committee of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to identify and facilitate our community service projects and manage community partnerships. Finally, I am on the planning committee for all of the major corporate events we sponsor for our dealer partners. I am fortunate to work for a company that values the perspective and contributions of Human Resources, so I participate in executive meetings reviewing the status and setting the vision for the company.

Tools of the Trade

If I had to identify skills which have served me well in HR, these would be customer service, listening, writing, and public speaking. In HR, all of our employees are my customers as well as those whom I interact with outside of the company. It helps to maintain this perspective so that employees not only feel comfortable in coming to HR but that they trust the information they receive, and the process in place for employee relations matters. Proper listening requires you to be present, thoughtful, and insightful. Active listening ensures you gather all of the details to provide the best solution. In each of the HR positions I have held during my career, I was required to draft company-wide communications and executive presentations. It is very helpful to fine-tune your communication skills with any position so your thoughts are presented in a professional manner. I took a public speaking class, and never knew how impactful it would be on my career! I am often speaking in front of meetings, facilitating as a trainer or to employee groups. I recently had the wonderful opportunity to serve on the speakers’ panel at the 2019 Women in MHEDA Conference!

Communication

Communication is mandatory. I commented above on the impact of written and verbal skills. Daily I am communicating with employees, peers, executives, vendors, candidates and business partners. My communication style is a direct representation of Doosan, so it is important to keep my communications professional, relevant and accurate.

Women in Material Handling
With anything you are pursuing, preparation sets the stage for success. Whether it is a meeting, a project or a presentation, take the time to prepare on a level that demonstrates your engagement. There may be times when you are the only woman in the room. Never let that deter you from asking a question or providing valuable insight. Your preparation will help to build your confidence which you will need to pursue the career you envision for yourself!