The Small Business HR Podcast

Ep. 6

6. Thriving as an HR Department of One w/ Ryan Archibald

In this episode 6, we talk with Ryan Archibald about how HR professionals can be better partners to their leadership team—and operate as a trusted resource, even when you’re an HR department of one.
Ryan Archibald

Ryan Archibald

Director of Human Resources
Paul Davis Restoration of Utah
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Can HR be an advocate for both the company and the employee experience? Ryan Archibald, Director of Human Resources at Paul Davis Restoration of Utah, thinks so. Over the course of his HR career, he’s seen colleagues fall prey to the dictator trap—when HR alone is the rule maker and enforcer. And how this approach fails every. single. time.

We sat down with Ryan to hear about how HR professionals can be better partners to their leadership team—and operate as a trusted resource, even when you’re an HR department of one.

We also talked about:

  • How a friend’s negative experience at work inspired him to get into HR and help people
  • How to avoid the “dictator trap”—and instead, be a caretaker of the employee experience
  • How to align the HR function with the expectations of your leadership team
  • Asking for help, especially when you’re an HR department of one
  • Knowing your values (and communicating them) when others want you to cut corners

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When you’re an HR team of one, it can feel isolating—and like you’re supposed to have all the answers. But it’s okay to ask for help, outsource certain functions, and tap into a local community, like SHRM, for advice.”

Ryan Archibald

Manage your energy. Being busy is not a badge of honor. Take care of yourself first, or you risk burning out.”

Ryan Archibald

When it comes to building a relationship with your executive team, try to be as specific as possible. Use data. And talk not only about the impact (of any one decision) on culture, but also on the bottom line.”

Ryan Archibald

Not everything you try is going to work. But, having honest communication within your organization fosters a healthy work environment and allows you to change directions without taking feedback personally.”

Ryan Archibald

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