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At times the Human Resources world is insane. Especially when you are constantly hiring the same position over and over again, dealing with the same employee issues over and over again, and babysitting managers to make sure they get critical tasks done by deadlines…you guessed it…over and over again. This is the tactical side of HR and with confidence, I can say that every single position in Human Resources has a tactical side…some larger than others.
I imagine it is like having kids but different in the way that they are not blood relatives. I am not kid-friendly so how the heck did I end up in HR? You can read that story anytime right here!
I: Idiotic – what do I mean?
When you have managers who bend rules, play favorites, and do what they want instead of taking the advice of others, who picks up the pieces? You guessed it – it becomes an HR problem.
Employees come in late, have a poor attitude, are not performing to the best of their ability and managers have either done nothing or tried everything, what happens? Again, it becomes an HR problem.
Generally, HR has to investigate the issues, provide guidance to management/employees on how to move forward, babysit managers to make sure they fix the problems, then sometimes, you have to fire management/employees and that brings another situation…..replacing them! Why can’t we all just follow the rules, communicate the rules, lead by example and work thru these things???
Many of you may be thinking that these very idiotic things are job security .but it really isn’t because an HR individual can only take so much before they go…you guessed it INSANE!
N: Necessary – yes Human Resources is!
Merriam-Webster defines Human Resources as an organizational function related to the procurement and retention of talented employees. It further defines why it matters: “Human resources recognizes that people are assets rather than liabilities in companies. In order to keep these assets optimally productive, human resources is there to make sure a company hires the right employees, fires the wrong ones, develops employees with potential, keeps everyone happy, and ensures that companies and employees are fulfilling their legal obligations to each other.” Key words…‘fulfill legal obligations’. HR departments and those a part of it are necessary because we look at the big picture, remain neutral in every situation, are fair and have the employees and companies best intentions – it is a lot to juggle and you have to be a special type of person to be able to manage all of the craziness!
S: Stressful – demanding and thankless
Demands can be very high. From Union grievances and contracts to hiring and firing, there is never a dull moment in the human resources world. From writing policies, procedures, corrective/disciplinary actions, to gingerly having conversations with employees and/or managers that they are wrong and putting the company at risk…when you work at a company that has all of this, it is insane. We all want work to be positive and strategic but that isn’t the real world – most of the time.
A: Annoying – over and over again
Laws are constantly updated…local, federal, etc. The rules are constantly changing. People and generations bring change and different perspective. How does a company keep up with all of these? You guessed it, Human Resources. Quite honestly, with all of the constant updates and changes, it can be frustrating and annoying!
N: Neutral – fair
Human Resources is regarded or at least should be in most companies, a neutral party. When an employee needs to confide in someone other than their manager, they should be able to visit HR. When a hotline call is received, HR needs to investigate each and every situation fairly.
In my mental world, I try and make HR fun – yes I said fun! I tend to tell stories that generally involve a personal situation of mine and then relate it to something happening with an employee or at the company. This helps the conversation. Sometimes I make comments to managers such as ‘I really like Jane. She is a great employee” followed by ‘I’m in HR I like everyone-I have to.’ Ha ha ha. In every situation, human resources’ needs to remain neutral to the situation, investigate fairly, make everyone in every situation use facts to back it up and remain neutral in conversation.
E: Enjoyable – Not kidding here!
So I thought I would end on a positive note. While the word insane has a negative connotation as well as each word I have mentioned so far, there is a positive side to being in Human Resources which makes it enjoyable – making a difference. When I first started in HR, my goal was to make a difference somehow. If HR has a seat at the table with management, you can effect change.
- you build relationships with employees, you can effect change;
- you effect change and help make a difference, it makes human resources quite enjoyable and the company successful;
- that contract passes;
- an employee quits before you are ready to fire him/her
- a candidate accepts the offer
- when your research and hard work pays off and results in changes to a policy or process
…that is when human resources’ is enjoyable. It does happen, just not as much as we want it too!
All the best… *judean*
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