The Five Points of Human Resources Management
Note: These are guidelines on one particular style of Head of Personnel. They are not server policy.
The Head of Personnel can either be a Godsend or worse than a banana-flinging clown for the station. He can also savor the prestige or feel shackled to the ID computer. If you find yourself wearing teal, make the most of it by doing your job correctly.
- Support the Captain. Always be on the captain's side, at least publicly. Remember that since you'll take up his banner if, or more often when, he's slain, you're the de facto second in command. Be sure to work as a team to lead the crew. If he's demanding, be persuasive. If he's soft-spoken, be a task-master. This means anyone annoyed at his leadership style will likely follow yours, but it also means he has to trust you. Earn this trust by making frequent use of command chat (:c) and deferring to him on matters of great importance, like assigning new heads or calling the shuttle. Recognize, however, that you do not outrank any other Heads of Staff. You are simply sitting at the Captain's right hand, entrusted to the keys to the station, while all other heads must beg at your feet for access to so much as the bar. Don't let it go to your head, and the Head of Security won't brain you.
- Uphold the Rights of Crewmen. Only the Captain can authorize a death warrant, and you are sometimes tasked with judging trials under Space Law. You are normally considered the most impartial officer for this task, which prevents the appearance of a mere kangaroo court. Furthermore, Security often commits excesses and the Captain is either dead or personally involved in a case. For these reasons, you need to be sure to call for trials for high crimes before the accused gets left to rot in a permacell forever. While this may put you at odds with Security, you should find them fanatically loyal to the Captain, who hopefully makes clear his full confidence in you. This delicate balance of power prevents excesses against the crew. Almost always, a weak Captain and Head of Personnel will result in shitcurity.
- Follow the Principle of Least Privilege. When assigning new access levels or creating new jobs, ask yourself just how much access is really needed to perform the task. If a hardworking engineer wants EVA access, consider if he really needs access or just for you to open the door for him while he gets a suit. If the chaplain is being proactive about finding bodies but often needs people to open doors, maybe the risk of giving him more access is less than gain from increasing his effectiveness. Decisions like these keep the station more secure from thieves weaseling their way to their targets and cuts down on the number of accidental arrests made by Security for assumed trespassing. Remember to write their increased access or privileged items on a sheet of paper and give it a good stamping so the janitor will be able to show why he's mopping Medbay's floors.
- Talk to the Crew. The Captain gets nervous when someone stands next to him for too long. The Head of Security is too busy beating the clown. The Research Director is on fire, the Chief Medical Officer is up to his elbows in gore, and the Chief Engineer is trying to keep everyone warm and breathing in a vacuum. You're really the only head able to take time and listen to the crew. Invite crewmen to talk to you when there are conflicts. Defuse the interpersonal and interdepartmental problems you discover during these conversations, and prevent grievances from becoming grief. Advocate on behalf of the robusted to security, and generally reduce the frequency and intensity of mutinies.
- Manage your Department First. While technically you can demote everyone who's ID you seize to assistant, managing civilian workers not under another head is your immediate responsibility. Keeping janitors on task, directing the chef to throw a pizza party, ensuring the Quartermaster is on top of things, and getting the records up to date are the first thing to do after assigning job and access changes. Demoting bad security officers or stepping in for an absent department head also falls on your desk, but going into other departments to micromanage in front of their head is both bad form and likely to make you reviled. Always clear a demotion with their department head, or ideally, have all the heads aware they can send troublesome employees your way to be sent to the mining base. This lets you focus on your immediate underlings and avoid stepping on toes.