Allow me to share a scenario I run into regularly. “I work in HR.” Hold for sad awkward pause as the person you’re speaking with judges you. “It’s not like that. It’s much cooler than you think.” Silence. “I’m not Toby. I swear.” Am I alone in this? Has anyone else had it at this point? The brand of human resources needs to change. Gone are the days of policing process and saying no for managers. I want the reaction I deserve when I talk about my profession but none of us can do it alone. We, as an industry, need to step up our games.
Enough Is Enough
We are game changers for businesses. We can make or break a company’s success in so many ways. Let’s no longer settle for being viewed as the helpers, the doers, the people who get shit done. (I’m cool with that last one but let’s be the people who get shit done strategically and in business altering ways!) If we behave in ways that support the thought process that we’re paper pushing event planners, we’ve got no one but ourselves to blame.
You Know What They Say About Assuming
If we assume this lame perception will never change, it won’t. We need to make change happen. Change the perspectives of those around you by showing your major contributions every day. Don’t hide those achievements. Don’t be annoying about it, but highlight what you and your team are doing and don’t ever forget to mention why you’re doing it. People need to understand your logic and how what you’re working on is much bigger than it may seem in the long run for the business and its employees.
Partners in Crime
Be true partners within your organization. Offer your thoughts in an intelligent way. Make it so that other teams are excited and invigorated to work on something with you and your team, not dragged down by it all. That’s not to say it’s a free for all. We shouldn’t all be throwing out cash, vacation time and what have you. We can take the hard line and should when necessary. In the right way. In the humane way. In a way that makes the other parties involved respect us even more.
Take It and Stop Talking About It
If I attend one more webinar, conference, or read an article that says something about getting a seat at the table I’m going to scream. Take the seat. Take it! Take it by being so good at what you do that the leadership of the organization has no choice but to include you in every important conversation. Think so big that no one will ever question your ability to do so. Show real results and do so regularly. And don’t ever ever give up.
My fellow HR practitioners, who are we? Are we the police? Are we guides? Partners? If we don’t know, no one else will. HR, we’re better than this. I think it’s high time we showed the world what badasses we are and how impactful we are not only on businesses but on lives.