I’ve been in HR for twelve years. To say it’s a love/hate job is an understatement. Some days are rewarding, other days not quite. I’ve thought about leaving HR but stop when I remember the good stuff: the variety, the phenomenal HR people I’ve met in the last twelve years and the positive impact.
Let’s explore these aspects of HR…too often we forget about them when we’re having a bad day.
No day is the same.
Your calendar is open and you’ve already got the day broken up into working on some important side projects. Guess what? The circus outside your door has a different idea. Great HR professionals take advantage of the downtime because they know that things happen. When someone stops by and says “got a second?” It could be a positive conversation or it could be a “hmmm maybe I should check with an attorney on this one.”
Done correctly, HR has a positive impact at the company through coaching, training and employee relations.
There is an important caveat in that statement “done correctly.” Which means that HR can differ by company.
Of course, there are foundation ideas that I would encourage every company to embrace: ethics and values, safety, etc., but other parts of HR can and should vary by company. Examples include recruiting, employee relations (within legal boundaries), retention and engagement.
When we customize our HR processes for the company, we have the best chance of making that positive impact because the HR product or process is designed for the people it supports, instead of forcing people into a process designed for a different group of people.
HR Professionals Are Awesome
I know, some of you are thinking “seriously? Because I’ll give you the name of my HR lady because she is not awesome.”
It takes a unique skill set to be a good HR professional. You must be comfortable in the grey, you must be comfortable with tough conversations and you must be comfortable that some people won’t like you.
The best HR pro’s I know can handle all the above and have a personality to boot. They are creative, intelligent people who don’t look down on the people they support. That is a unique skillset and why HR people are great.