Human Resources or Human Robots? The Modern HR Professional
I am a little late this week with my blog post. It has been quite hectic. Last week, in my role as Test Development Volunteer with SHRM, I reviewed 90 potential tests questions for the SHRM-CP exam. Also, as a chair member of the Human Resources Association of Broward County, I have been planning a young and emerging HR professionals cocktail mixer in October. In between that I have been writing resumes and of course, I have my full time HR Generalist role. I am happy to be back blogging!
This week I felt compelled to discuss the modern HR professional based on some comments I have gotten from other HR professionals over the past few weeks. There seems to be this belief that if you are an HR professional somehow you must be super private, not socialize with other employees and fly below the radar. Let’s explore this.
Human Resources is a career path, not who you are completely. It is only a part of who you are. To be a well-rounded human, you must have a balance between your career and your personal life. You should have interests and hobbies outside of the work environment and you should be proud of that, not hiding it. It is okay to be active on social media, have a social life and just have fun! We are not robots and we do not have to be perfect or try to appear to be. It is perfectly legal and acceptable to be interesting.
When we shed that thinking, we will become more relatable to our fellow employees. It is okay to be friendly with co-workers, go to lunch or happy hour and get to know them outside of the work environment. It is okay to participate in Casual Fridays at the office. It is okay to form relationships with employees if boundaries such as confidentiality are maintained.
Benefits of Being Relatable
1. Employees will find you more approachable and will be more willing to openly discuss issues affecting them in their personal lives or at work or both.
2. Forming friendly relationships with employees will help you to keep a pulse on things happening in the office that you may not hear about until it “blows up”. We all know most times HR gets notified only when things get very complicated. You will be more in tune with any policy violations or brewing issues before they become big issues.
3. You will be able to garner more support and participation in HR initiatives if employees have relationships with you.
4. Your credibility with employees will grow and they will be more trusting of messages from management that are communicated by HR.
Human Resources is in fact about being human. There is a delicate balancing act between friendliness and professionalism, but it can be achieved. We are Human Resources professionals, not Secret Service Agents. Being a well-rounded human will drive more people towards you than away from you. It will enrich your work life and personal life.