Friday, December 21, 2012

I think therefore I am – in Human Resources by Ian Welsh

A lot has been said & written about why people opt HR as a career option. Out of the many posts and articles I read on the internet, I could relate to mostly strongly with this blog post by Ian Welsh.

I think therefore I am – in Human Resources. Why? Because HR is probably the most exciting and predictably unpredictable function – do you agree? HR people whose roles are interactive - regardless of level - need to develop HR “street smarts” very early in their career. We are the champions of many things and, every day in every way, working to make things better! We work to make things better, but nevertheless, need to be on our guard. HR is very vulnerable and we have to be wary of those who seek to manipulate and transfer blame to us.

We think we have a mandate, but it may be more limited than we imagine. We promote trust within the organization, but, sadly, cannot trust everyone. We need to be alert to the implications of our various encounters during the day. We often have to make very quick decisions in complex situations – one party (in a dispute) may be satisfied and the other very angry. It could be that the angry person is the person most capable of causing harm to us, but if we are governed by integrity we accept that and are prepared for further battle.

I feel therefore I am – in Human Resources. Why? We care about people! We want people to be treated fairly. We empathize with people. We value the human aspects that attract many people to Human Resources. We are close to people but maintain some distance. Some of us will cry along with employees, all of us will feel sympathy when misfortune affects an employee. It could be bereavement, sickness or other tragedies – it can also be termination. We know that the employee who seems saddest, who cries loudest may not be the most devastated by whatever misfortune. Many of us have seen the employ who accepts termination calmly, seems to accept the decision, leaves work quietly and takes his/her own life. We try to see the signs, to understand beyond the obvious, but not always successfully. Should we feel guilty? No – we did what we could – nevertheless, we may still feel that way.

I create therefore I am – in Human Resources. My space may be in a corner somewhere and my function may not require a great deal of people contact. I am a whiz with figures and in developing and managing HR programs and metrics - the figures are generally human “capital”. I create and because there are so many variables and subjective aspects it may be like writing a novel - to get whatever it is to fit a specific environment. I am governed by optimism as I work on new projects. The outcome of a new initiative may never be clear, although the methodology to assess may be.

I visualize therefore I am – in Human Resources. I consider lots of little pieces of the present and the future. I take many unknowns and make one big holistic unknown. I consider data to validate and select whatever is closest to what I think – therefore I am. I lead HR therefore I am – in Human Resources - at The Table. I have to think a lot, be on guard and understand what is being discussed and any HR implications. I have to participate with enthusiasm on non-HR subjects that may not interest me very much. Sometimes it is very exciting, sometimes it is hard to keep awake. I am a strategic business partner – at least I think I am.

I think, I feel, I create, I visualize, I lead therefore I am – in Human Resources and very proud to be. by Ian Welsh

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