Human Resources Insights
HR Is the Heart of Every Organization
Why would I say this? Because I believe it is true! As I’ve always said—HR’s primary role is to be there as the heart of the organization and for the benefit of the employees. Those “benefits of heart” include being a confidential ear, sounding board, rule maker and equal enforcer, benefits caretaker, safety proponent and Company communicator, to name just a few areas of influence.
HR is the one department in your Company that should be viewed as the “neutral ear” for hearing and helping to resolve problems. They should function as a consistently unbiased entity and as a resource for information and assistance, and to provide specific and general guidance to your employees—especially when their own managers won’t listen, give them a moment to speak or attempt to understand and address their challenges.
Human Resources (HR) should be the Company “mom.” Their most important role is to look out for the well-being, welfare and best interests of your most valuable resource—your guest service ambassadors. How can any Company expect to excel at superior guest service if they don’t first emulate those characteristics of respectful treatment that they expect in their employees?
So what do I mean by company MOM? The first “M” refers to the maternal or benevolent side of humanity. It means that in HR we listen first and pass judgment later (maybe). It also means that it is important for us to show caring, compassion and genuine sincerity for the welfare of others. Most importantly, it also means to find the good in others and to help management to see that good exists as well.
The “O” stands for open and available, open-minded and an open heart. It means that in HR we try to not pre-judge a situation, assume guilt and categorize individuals or situations. It also means that we are available, receptive and compassionate to the needs of others.
The final “M” means that we need to motivate. I believe it is the role of HR to get out the message and build a culture that reinforces that your organization is considerate and compassionate to the challenges faced by your employees, and to teach others that a human life, individual self-esteem and genuine caring for another is not an old, antiquated idea from the long past but the most valuable attribute that a person can possess.
HR is also there for many other purposes, such as to manage the hiring process, benefits, recognition, rewards and retention. I like to refer to these as the soft skills, or the support services, that HR provides. These soft skills mean that your employees get off to a good start due to focused training, mentoring staff, complete wage and benefits programs, sincere recognition and reward activities, and that the Company cares about whether or not a loyal employees stays, flourishes and contributes to the overall success of the organization, as well as achieves some of their own personal goals and aspirations along the way.
Let it not become too easy for us to toss aside an employee who may be under-performing, by passing judgment before we take a closer look. You may find that people just need to be listened to, treated with respect and given the chance to succeed. When people face serious challenges in their life or with family, it can be distracting. It takes a much bigger person to find compassion and take a moment to listen to, find solutions, and then to save a person and their career, rather than just label them as a “problem” and throw them away. My advice: Always remember your humanity (and maybe even a little humility), and look for a solution that solves the problem and maybe even saves a person worth saving.
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
HR Question of the month: Please send your HR questions and concerns, or share your thoughts on your human resources challenges via email to the following address. Send input to email@example.com. Your comments, questions or concerns will help determine the direction for my next month’s column and earn you a copy of my book. Include your mailing address when sending your responses.