To the other members of the Leadership Team,

You guys aren’t right in the head. Well, some people would say that, anyway.

See, you are not like most companies. You think differently. You frame decision-making with two separate (but related) lenses: customers and employees. That’s so uncommon that I just had to let you know how much I appreciate it.

Also, I just wanted to say a quick “thank you” for all of your support. In many companies, HR is looked at as a hurdle to “real” work getting accomplished. It’s an afterthought at best and complete avoidance at worst.

My peers in the HR profession are constantly fighting and clawing to earn recognition for their efforts and gain influence at the senior level of their organizations.

And I don’t have that problem.

See, when we filter the majority of our decisions through “how does this affect our people,” that puts HR at the forefront of what we do. And, if I had to guess, that’s one of the keys to our continued success these past five years.

We have warts, just like any organization. Yes, sometimes I have to remind the team of that focus and I’ve had to push a little in the past to avoid policies and practices that could damage our relationships with our staff, but those interactions are infrequent and innocuous.

My teammates in contracts, accounting, and management all share the same goals. We take the time to work together to define those every year and hold each other accountable. We take action and get results.

We have a “musketeer mentality,” as I once heard someone put it. We’re all for one, and one for all. We don’t ignore things that need doing simply because “that’s not my area.”

We know that if someone stumbles, we all feel the pain. So we work together to head off potential issues, address problems as they arise, and fight the ever-present pull of mediocrity. 

I get to come in here every day and do what I love. Many people can’t say that in other organizations. This has been an amazing experience for me so far, and I’m excited to learn what tomorrow, next week, and next year will bring.

Keep up the great work. I’ll try to keep up.

Your HR guy,

Ben Eubanks

AKA An open letter to HR professionals who think it’s a good idea to regulate the snot out of everything

Dear fellow HR professionals,

Hey! So, I’m not sure if you know much about me, but I’m a different kind of HR guy. I like being open and honest and treating people like… Well, people. Our employees aren’t children (and if they are, that’s a whole other issue!), so why do we treat them that way?

This ain’t my first rodeo

I talked about this before in a video. I attended a supervisor training where we spent two whole days listening to people whose favorite phrases were¬†don’t do this and don’t do that. I can understand setting those minimum standards, but I don’t understand why there’s no attempt to reach higher. Why aren’t we giving our people lessons on coaching and leadership in addition to the rest of that stuff?

Think about it Continue reading