What HR is to Me … Now

The Buzz on HR reached its 7th Blogiversary in May.

I was taking a little sabbatical from writing following the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge so I didn’t make much fuss about it.

But I gotta admit, 7 Years is a really big deal and I’m proud of myself for making it this far … Yet I know I’m just scratching the surface of all that is possible thru this work. I’m excited for this season.

I’m also excited to be celebrating another birthday this month! And as I plan to get turnt with my friends and family in honor of myself, I am also super reflective. I’m preparing and planning and plotting the next 12 months and what I want to accomplish, personally and professionally. I’m also thinking about my career trajectory and how it intersects with my writing and what is going on in the world.

The world is changing. HR is changing. I am changing.

WHAT HR IS TO ME NOW

HR is the Gatekeeper of Company Culture.

We decide what comes in. We influence what happens once there. We decide what goes out … HR holds the keys.

HR writes the policies. We create the trainings. We develop the recognition programs … or at least, we should be involved in all that. And if you’re working in a HR Department where that isn’t true, ask yourself why. Because something is wrong with either the organization or something is wrong with you.

HR has the ability to call the whole organization to greatness and lead the organization to being the best version of itself. We can create transparency. We can eliminate mediocrity. We can align who the organization truly is with who it wants to be … or at least, we should be involved in all that. Again, if this isn’t true in the HR Department you work in, ask yourself why. Because something is really wrong with either them or you.

If your HR Department isn’t leading this way, it is either time for your to level up your skills — or level up your resume and go work elsewhere.

As we shift to a gig economy where the lines of personal and professional are  permanently blurred, HR has to do better. We have to be braver and more outspoken than we’ve ever been before. Because the hottest issues in our workplaces right now are the issues we’ve been talking about for years.

Social media. Pay equity. Diversity and inclusion. Flexible scheduling. The alleged War for Talent. Sexual harassment.

No one else is equipped to lead in this season like HR. This is our time, y’all!!!! These forefront issues are the areas we’ve been studying and advocating for since our inception … But if we haven’t also been studying the business needs of the organization we work for and trends in our profession , we’re going to miss our shot.

Because advocacy without strategy is useless.

Today’s workforce is full of people who are seeing and reacting negatively and passionately to businesses who don’t seem to care about their employees. They pay attention to online reviews. They pay attention to compensation, benefits and perks. They pay attention to performance feedback. They pay attention to opportunity for development and promotion. They pay attention to corporate giving. They pay attention to the integrity and congruence of their leaders.

When these things don’t line up with the stated mission and values and the right side of the history we’re currently making, employees are throwing up either a peace sign or a middle finger (or both) and taking their talents elsewhere. Employees are not sitting around for decades while the organization they work for doesn’t hold up their end of what should be a healthy, growing relationship.

Similarly, public pressure from social media doesn’t allow organizations to sit idly by when an employee doesn’t do their part. We are seeing rude, raunchy and racist people terminated left and right for behaviors outside of work which bring embarrassment and shame to the brand they work for.  Whether organizations are doing this because they are truly more committed to integrity or just saving their business interests thru their actions is a blog post for another day … Whatever the motivation, organizations have to be ready to respond and resolve issues swiftly — and HR has to lead that charge.

HR remains the only department that protects business and keeps it profitable by protecting the people who work for the business. I am still convinced of this, even after all these years.

As HR emerges as the Gatekeepers of Culture, protecting the business and keeping it profitable must includes message integrity and brand congruence. True, honest communication about what the organization intends for people to feel and do based on the executive decisions and goals. HR has to make sure messaging is intentional, consistent and in alignment with what the organization says it wants to be and where it wants to go. Otherwise, the business will suffer.

This means HR cannot sit by anymore while people are mistreated and misinformed. We are not just there to mitigate the risks. HR is there to make work better for everyone, including itself. It’s not enough anymore to be in HR just to protect the company.  HR has to hold the organization accountable to itself and what it says it values. HR must keep its finger on the pulse to remind the organization of what’s important when its vital signs start to go off-track. HR is there to help the organization and its human capital be the greatest version of itself.

Greatness cannot exist where there is no honesty. Honesty cannot exist where there is no transparency. Transparency cannot exist where there is no positive intent … Even in the most difficult and controversial times in a business, there can still be greatness when the intent is positive and it is centered in honesty and transparency.

It is essential to me that the organizations I work for and work with are worthy of my effort and protection. Because just like everyone else, my personal and professional are forever blended and I can’t compartmentalize what happens at work from what happens in the world from who I am at my core …  There has to be a larger goal than just preventing the organization from suffering the humiliation and financial consequences of its own poor choices. It has to be about doing the right thing because we all want to walk in congruence with our values. It has to be about helping people improve and live their best lives.

Because when the people who work for the organization are given every opportunity and tool to be the best they can be, the organization becomes as successful and profitable as it can be.  Everybody wins.

And I really truly deeply believe everyone should win — and I want to do my part in making that happen.

This is what HR is to Me … Now.

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Wanna know what HR was to me then? Check out these throwbacks:

Leave a comment or hit me up on social media to tell me what it is and has been to you.

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