Each year, on the Anniversary of the launch of my The Buzz on HR, I look back at my very first post and reflect on how my views on the profession have changed.
Sadly, I missed my 3rd bloggiversary because I was in a bad head space and y’all really didn’t want to know what I was thinking then. It was nothing nice!
Instead, I’m going to take this day to reflect. Because it is my actual birthday — and there’s no better time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going than on the day you’re born.
So here goes … What HR is to Me – the 2014 Edition
I still believe the function of Human Resources is to balance the rights of the employee with the needs of the employer in order to ensure the protection and productivity of the employer. As hard as many have tried to tell me otherwise, I just don’t think that will ever change for me. The reason any job exists is first and foremost to enthusiastically excel the goals of the company. If you can’t deal with that, find a way to become self-employed. You’ll be much happier — and so will your boss.
I still believe in sharing knowledge, caring about our companies and the people in them, actively practicing, proper timing in our planning as well as professional development/networking. These are crucial things for any professional who wants to stay positive and progressive in their career. Nothing and no one benefits when you don’t put forth effort to get better and help others.
Now I’m ready to add these items to the list:
- Metrics … It still baffles me to see HR professionals fighting against providing detailed reports and data to back up their recommendations and requests surrounding trends and department needs. It befuddles me when we get shocked and disappointed when we don’t get the approvals and support because of this. It’s past time for HR to show and prove our stuff through tangible, irrefutable data.
- Money … This one is two-fold. First, HR needs to pay attention to how much money is being spent. The initiatives and projects we propose, create and maintain cost thousands and thousands of dollars. We should know these costs and whether this is a good or poor investment of resources. We should be as involved and enthusiastic about budget decisions as any other in our function… Second, HR needs to look out for compensation. Both the people in the organization — as well as their own. Far too often, HR fails to fight to the battle for fair, appropriate wages across the board. Money talks; HR needs to holla back!
- Mindfulness … HR has a responsibility to speak up and out when appropriate. We must be direct and candid. We should be guard our reputation and impressions we make without losing our authenticity. We should not hide our criticism and disappointment in sarcasm. We should share our truth while still being considerate of others, the environment and the situation. The day of the uptight, handbook toting, policy quoting, condescending, aloof HR person is dead. Rest in peace.
As I start a new journey, I am excited to put these things into practice and see success. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I will learn, I will grow and I’ll be better because of it. And I will share the wisdom nuggets every step of the way.
I really try not to use my blog to air my personal gripes … I can’t remember the last time, if ever, that I have … So forgive me for this one …
I’ve had the same living room furniture since like 2002. I decided it was time to upgrade! So I headed off to a local furniture store to pick out a new set. Delivery was scheduled for about a week later so I could setup junk pickup of my old stuff in the meanwhile.
On delivery day, they couldn’t get the furniture into my house, which was hard to believe because we’d measured twice to be sure. The delivery team really didn’t propose any alternatives except sending everything back … And then we sent it back. And then I had to go back to the store, which is 35 minutes away, to pick out something else. And then, due to issues with their computers, it took a week to clear the old furniture and schedule the new. And then, on delivery day 2, no one called or showed up. And then I called to learn the delivery had been cancelled. And then the store blamed me for the cancellation error. And then the person on the phone got rude. And then I put a cape on — and I got SUPER rude!
Don’t judge me. I’m only human.
So as I write this post, my living room still has no furniture in it. And I’m waiting to see if and how the store is able to turn this around. Because, as pissed off as I am, I really don’t want to go thru the hassle of starting this whole process over again and being without furniture in the meanwhile.
I’m hoping to turn this from an “and then” to a “but then” situation.
Another “And Then” would be just one more negative tale, one more bad experience added on top of the already really poor experiences I’ve had. Another “and then” would prove the company doesn’t care, leaving me no choice but to go elsewhere … However, a “But Then” would be a different, better experience to stop the craziness and end the story on a positive, mutually-satisfying note.
What does a “but then” look like? Hmm … But then the manager got a UHaul truck and delivered the furniture himself. But then the manager offered to expedite my delivery and refund my delivery fees. But then the manager waived my first 3 months of payments. But then the manager gave me an extra lamp and end table. But then the manager took 20% off the price … But then someone stepped in and made it right, once and for all!
In my fury over all these mishaps and mishandlings, it dawned on me that this is what our employees are feeling when they have issues in our workplaces. They start work in our organizations with excitement and good intentions … And then something inevitably goes wrong … And then someone tries to fix it but doesn’t really … And then something goes wrong again … And then they bring the issues to HR … And then they wait to see what we’ll do with it, to see how and if we will make it right and fix it once and for all. Because, as pissed off as they are, they don’t want to hassle of searching for a new job or separation litigation.
So what are we gonna do, HR? Another “and then” — or a “but then.”
The choice is yours.
… I shouldn’t have left you … Depending on the era you were born, you can finish that lyric in any number of ways.
It’s hard to believe it’s been over 2 months since I last posted anything on this blog. I’ve never gone that long without writing since I launched 3 years ago. Yikes and yuck!
The stuff of life and work just got to me. I couldn’t make the time and mental space to be creative. I try to be a practical and positive voice in the HR blogosphere. When my daily happenings are less than that, it’s hard to push the challenges aside and speak from a clear, neutral place. So instead of sharing sadness and snark, I chose silence.
There were events and moments that made me want to say something … but then I’d sit in front of my computer and nothing would come out. Soon, the moment would pass and the idea wouldn’t really be relevant anymore.
Sigh. It happens to everyone, I suppose.
I wasn’t a complete lazy lima bean in the meanwhile. I wrote 3 posts AND appeared on Drive Thru HR radio AND collaborated on a fantastic e-book with the awesome team of bloggers over at Performance I Create. You should check all that out as well as subscribe to PIC because there is new, great content there almost daily.
I was also the featured speaker for a webinar on HR.com (you can get HRCI credit for watching the replay)–I spoke at a couple of local events in NC as well
Best of all, I got a new job!! And with that, I know my work-life balance will come back to equilibrium.
Still, with all that going on, I didn’t post any new content here. I regret that. However, there’s nothing I can do about it now — except apologize to my readers for staying gone so long and get my butt back in the blogging saddle.
So that’s what I’m doing. Today … Buzz is back. Buckle up!