Nothing “Human” in Human Resources

human errorOnce a Vice President level colleague shared with me their perception of Human Resources. And I quote, “There is nothing Human in Human Resources.” Now I am not sure what prompted this statement, but I can only imagine. Pause a moment. Think of a decision(s) that has been communicated to your organization that might lend itself to this question.

I am sharing this because it set off a series of questions I began to have about my chosen profession. What this colleague shared with me really hit a nerve. This is the core and root of what we do. We touch lives in all our actions in Human Resources. Somehow, I believe this has been lost in translation.

When I thought about one single word that defines Human Resources it is compassion. Compassion means displaying, showing or demonstrating human kindness. It means Being Human!! Let\’s face it, there is a reason the profession is titled Human Resources. Right?!

Everyday a Human Resources Professional goes to work and we deal with issues involving human beings. Yes, there is much more – operational issues, budgetary issues, strategy issues, product or project issues – but they all have a single common dominator or influence – the human factor.

I have come to learn many things about what we do in Human Resources and I believe it can be summarized as emotional and social intelligence.

I have learned that as you advance in your career your compassion grows with it. You must treat your business colleagues, partners, employees, management or vendors with respect and honesty knowing that at times you are forced to make difficult, tough decisions. When treating others with fairness and integrity, your leadership and professionalism will prevail. Maintain and treat with absolute honesty without attacking the person.

During my career I have had to make extremely difficult decisions knowing that I\’m not only affecting a single person but quite possibly a family or community. But what has set me apart professionally and personally is my keen ability to handle people with compassion while executing these decisions. This is why I love and am passionate about what I do. And this is why it is imperative and crucial that HR plays a strategic role in an organization.

As you advance in your career, whether it be in Human Resources or any other profession, your ‘soft skills\’ become that much more critical, visible and what is cascaded down and throughout the organization. Your emotional or social intelligence is what sets you apart as a true leader, a visionary, inspiring and guiding people rather than a manager managing functions or operations.

Today’s guest post is by Michelle Chesnutt, PHR. With over 18 year\’s progressive human resources experience, Michelle brings a comprehensive talent to her profession.  Having served in various roles with increasing responsibilities, Michelle works best serving in a Business Partner capacity.  Currently she is seeking a HR Business Partner role in, preferably, a global entity with 3000+ employees collaborating with a segment or unit of the business and is open to relocation for the right opportunity.  She is described as a versatile, enthusiastic and dynamic Business Partner with an expertise in employee and management leadership and relations, employee engagement, communication and compliance initiatives.  Professionally she served as the HR Director and Business Partner for a global IT company in Austin, Texas.  Recently, she was appointed as AHRMA\’s 2011 Chair, Credentialing Committee of the Career Development Committee and also lends her time and efforts to the Workforce Readiness and Programs Committees.  Through her activities she has developed a fundamental interest in speaking, blogging/writing and teaming with others on various HR projects.
Feel free to contact her if you have something to share:
512-560-3029
michelle.chesnutt@yahoo.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/michellechesnutt

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