A Labor Day Reminder

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Sometimes folks forget that HR execs have feelings and emotions too. Recent events have reminded me of my own and teams vulnerability. HR folks are very good at putting up a stoic front in the face of adversity. We deal with difficult situations everyday, sometimes they end badly as folks move on.

No one in HR is immune to this. We care as much as the next person, and sometimes more, however we are tasked with the tough conversations. In the ideal world direct supervisors would do the dirty work, but alas its easier and quite frankly safer to let us do the dirty work. When I speak to interns and my MBA students about working in HR, and ask them why they want to work in the field, they inevitably say they like working with people…well that is not mutually exclusive to HR…you can like working with folks in any discipline….unless you are a total psycho…why wouldn’t you want to work with people???

One might think that as I get older, the wisdom and experience would help form “callouses” that act as shields to the emotions of the role. Well surprise…it doesn’t. I am human too, as are my peers. Especially CHRO’s who have not only the ultimate responsibility, but also the role of keeping a lock and key on the underbelly of business.

With a Labor day weekend upon us, I am humbly reminded of the meaning of work. I am also reminded of my own personal purpose.

I LOVE working in HR. It is my purpose in life to serve others by helping them be the best they can be. My greatest rewards emotionally are seeing my team and organization succeed. I think on balance I have been successful in this journey. Just like my early days in college teaching swimming (I have taught hundreds of folks to swim), I have also pushed the envelope to develop great HR execs over the past 20 yrs.

Interesting with all my awards and press…that seems to rarely come up….yet its my proudest personal business achievement. I can honestly say that my impact on others has made a difference…No bonus, or trophy needed to acknowledge that. I don’t give a shit if you give me a “3”, or “4” on my review…Making a true impact on others is the only true measure of a job well done in HR.

So enough for a labor day rant…here is to celebrating workers everywhere!!!


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