Today’s Guest Post is from Buzz Rooney. She’s one of my favorite guests. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago, my daughter got sick at school and I had to pick her up early. I had deadlines and meetings so I brought her back to the office with me and let her rest on the cushy chairs in my office while I handled things. We left around 5:30 to pick up her brother from his karate lesson. My daughter let him know that she’d spent the afternoon in my office while I did “grown-up HR work.” My son was excited and envious; he asked his sister what I did all day with my “work.”
Her response surprised me …
“Her work was really boring. She sat at her table and typed on her computer and talked on her phone most of the time. She printed stuff and made copies of it in this big machine too. Then she went to another room with some people and they sat around a big table, talking about grown-up stuff. They didn’t look like they were having fun at all!”
Seeing HR through my 5 year-olds eyes was eye-opening for me. I thought my kids would think my job was so cool because I had my own, spacious office with a nice view. Everything was organized and I worked at a steady pace without a lot of fanfare or noise. I thought they would think I was living the dream!
But they didn’t. They thought I was a geek and a bit of a loser.
It occurred to me that my children probably aren’t the only ones who think my job is wack. There are employees and other managers in organizations all over who see HR this way: boring, paper pushers who rarely leave their desk or conference room table to have any real impact or understanding! And the HR people in those organizations think they are living the dream when they are really stuck in a nightmare.
So how can HR change this view?
Leave your office. No one can effectively manage from behind a desk. This includes HR! We have to visit the areas where the work is performed and where the employees are located to see, hear and learn about what is going on. Leaving the door open to your office isn’t the same as being open, available and accessible. Get out there and talk to people.
Talk HR up. HR doesn’t do a very good job at tooting its own horn. We also don’t do a good job at illustrating why our ideas and initiatives matter to the bottom line of the organization. We have to do a better job of making this connection and highlighting it for others.
Have more fun. Being serious about your work doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. There are tons of ironies, fodder and laughable moments happening every day in the places where we work. Smile, laugh and make a joke once in awhile. You’ll feel better – and so will the people around you.
And the next time you bring a 5 year old to spend the afternoon in your office, have some candy available. And unicorns. Preferably pink ones.
Photo Credit: EarlyBirdStitcher
Today’s Guest Post was by my friend and online Blogger – Buzz Rooney. Make sure you connect with her.
Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over 10 years experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She currently works for a large retail franchise handling employee relations, health benefits, COBRA, wellness, leave of absence and compliance. Buzz has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. She is also a part-time HR consultant offering basic management coaching/training, process improvement, resume writing, compliance assistance and human resources generalist services. When not working or writing or researching, Buzz is a single mom with 2 young children living in North Carolina. She enjoys mindlessly watching television, spending time with friends and family, reading, eating and sleeping.