*Editorial note* Sometimes social conversations are better than articles and blog posts, such as the case with this social conversation converted into a blog post. Since 2017, I have wondered how can anyone, especially HR professionals, supports Donald Trump and his policies? Well, it seems I am not the only one. Mrs. Melva Tate, PHR CLC (HR Consultant) wrote a post on Facebook, that went viral. Below is the post and without name-calling and anger, we are looking for authentic conversations from Trump supporters regarding how you justify your support of this administration. Let us know in the comments.
Dearest HR Folks.
I need answers. I need help understanding Human Resources in the Trump Era. Correction – I don’t need help understanding HR, but understanding those who WORK in human resources AND support Trump.
I know, I know. Some may find this article controversial while saying their political choice has nothing to do with their profession. Others will find my questions refreshing. Because they too are a bit puzzled. And they’re glad someone finally asked this Big question.
HR professionals are often called the company police. The policy pushers. The Joe Clark’s of workplace behavior (Joe Clark is the school principal in the movie, “Lean On Me” famously played by Morgan Freeman). We walk in the room, and people inadvertently sit upright and look busy. Well, at least in the environments where I worked. We’re viewed as the moral compass of the organization. The group who knows right from wrong. The group who will stand up for RIGHT. The group who holds the WRONG accountable.
My question. The one that troubles me. The one that causes me to pause. The one that makes me question those in my honorable profession. How can you be the culture and compliance advocate for ALL employees and still support and protect Donald Trump? Like How? My question is not about your judgment or your voting choice. I really want to know. I ask this question for two reasons. (1) to support a project I’m working on, but most importantly, (2) I really seek to understand.
I think about a day in the life of an HR professional. And when I say HR Pro, I’m not talking about Sally, who is the receptionist, the accountant, customer service, and the HR lady. I’m talking about degreed, experienced, certified HR Pros. Passionate HR folks!!
Let’s look at a few important areas where I need answers:
Leadership: If we’re coaching leaders to model the behavior they should expect and want from their subordinates and team, how can you support Donald Trump’s disrespectful treatment of the former and current white house and government employees? Calling them demeaning names. Bullying them from his highest platform. Degrading them on social media. You know, just as well as the rest of us HR Pros, THIS manager, displaying THIS behavior, would be placed on a performance improvement plan, mandatory leadership coaching, or demoted. Why? Because we know that ineffective leaders – not pay or benefits- is the number one reason employees leave organizations. We would not tolerate it. Period-T!!!
Communication: If we demand that employees communicate appropriately with customers and each other, how can you condone Trump’s verbal abuse of reporters, elected officials, protesters exercising their rights, and others? Even a little girl concerned about the planet. Would you condone a supervisor standing up in a meeting and telling someone to shut-up? How about saying, “that’s a stupid question?” What about stretching the truth – fixing the numbers – delivering false statements? Let me answer for you – No!!! Not around here.
Diversity & Inclusion: We champion our company’s diversity and inclusion statement and initiatives. We chair the D&I committee. We write the mandatory nondiscrimination statements in the handbook and post those statements in the breakrooms. We cover it in orientation. We immediately investigate claims of Title VII violations. We ensure fair hiring, promotion, and development of diverse talent. We know our organization’s success is distinctly tied to our diverse workforce – people with different backgrounds, values, and beliefs. So please tell me how you can support a man who tells women who look like me to “go back to where they came from.” Or call countries that may be the place of origin for some of your employees – shithole countries? Or remember the time he made fun of the reporter with a disability? I’ve got a dozen more, but you get where I’m coming from. How can you hold employees in your company accountable for their actions that violate compliance requirements (EEO) and your culture – but feel it’s ok for 45 to do that and more? You know, just as well as I do, the employee would be reprimanded, suspended, or even terminated. Gone. Gone with the quickness. But for your guy – it’s ok!!
Ethical: We want our leaders, and all employees actually, to have integrity, exhibit trustworthiness, and to be honest. We do our due diligence and would NEVER ever NEVER hire someone, especially in a leadership role, the LEADER of the organization, with a tarnished track record. Come on now, let’s be real. Would you really hire a company president or CEO with multiple lawsuits, sexual harassment complaints, a recording talking about grabbing a female’s va-jay-jay, video proof of him stereotyping groups of people (view his escalator speech), admits that he never makes a mistake, and he never has a need to apologize? How about open ABUSE of their role/title? Would you really hire the guy who tells you in the interview that as president of the company, he can do WHATEVER he wanted to do? I know, and you know, you would have ended the interview immediately. But yet, you probably voted for Trump and all his unemployable baggage and will most certainly vote for him again. But for your managers and supervisors, you expect better. You demand better. You have policies to mandate better.
Humility: Yea, humility. This necessary part of emotional intelligence. We want our leaders to have EQ. The ability to have self-discipline, self-awareness, self-management. So, what if an employee complained about their boss, and an investigation is launched. Would you be cool if said manager instructed his employees to “NOT” participate in the investigation? Refuse or attempt to avoid documents necessary for the investigation to be gathered by HR and submitted to the EEOC? Schedule an all-staff meeting and use the time to call the investigation a witch-hunt, say that HR is part of a coup d’état to take him out, call the complainant a liar, make fun of her looks, and openly praise the employees obstructing the investigation. Reread this one. Think about it. Cause you know, as I know, you would have a class-action lawsuit. It would damage employee morale. It would hurt the company’s brand and reputation. It would affect your bottom line. Said manager would be declared unfit for such an important role and removed from your organization.
Listen, HR brothers and sisters. I know you. I know you care about our profession. We’ve sat through some of the same HR, law, and leadership classes. We’ve attended the same boring ass conferences (unless I was presenting – haha). Hell, you’ve even conducted some of the compliance training in your organization. You know better. And because you know better, you would NEVER in a million years allow this behavior in your work environment. You wouldn’t. I know that for sure.
In submitting your WHY, please don’t default to another politician or political party. I’m talking about Donald Trump’s behavior and your love (or strong like) for HIM. Not Hillary, not Biden, not Obama, not the Democrats. I’m asking specifically about 45. If your only response is to compare his behavior to others, you’re missing my point.
So why? Please tell me why you support these actions in Trump. Help me understand. I’m confused and really want to know.
A Concerned HR Pro