Seriously. She is.
Because not only is she my mother who has loved, supported and nurtured me for almost 35 years, but because she is also an HR professional with over 30 years of experience as an administrator. My mom is my most trusted advisor and resource on all things Human Resources. I don’t know if all the years I spent in the office with her led me to follow a similar career-path, but it certainly has influenced my approach and management style.
If I’m an HR Rock-Star, my mom is an HR Rock-Icon. If I can be half the professional and administrator—yet alone woman—that she is, I’ll be proud of myself and my accomplishments. She is confident, endearing, honest, practical and funny. Always serious about the work without taking herself too seriously. She believes in development and accountability. She’s not afraid to share wisdom or the spotlight. And she’s never ever sick at sea … but she abhors amusement park rides. Truly and deeply hates them.
My mom is pure awesomeness. Period.
So what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to share some of my mom’s Words of HR Wisdom? Here’s the Top 7 pieces of advice—straight from Momma Rooney!
1) Embrace change. Just because “we always did things this way” or “we don’t do that here” doesn’t mean that something new can’t or won’t work.
2) Admit when you are wrong. You can be. You will be.
3) Consult authorities often, both written and human. You may think you are right. It’s better to know you are right. HR has to be right. Always. Your employer and employees depend on it.
4) Not everyone is going to like you—and that’s ok. You probably won’t like them, either. At work, you’ll encounter everyone from Attila the Hun to Mother Theresa and every kind of person in between. As long as you can work together to get things done, who cares what they think? Know yourself and what really matters; leave Attila behind when you leave the office.
5) “I don’t know” is an answer. “I don’t know, but will try to find out” is a better answer. HR doesn’t walk on water and we don’t know or remember everything about everything and everyone every time. Be mature enough to say so—then go find out.
6) Take confidentiality seriously. What is routine to you may mean everything to the other person. Wear your ears out listening to the things people share with you. Then answer honestly and clearly. Take advantage of the teachable moments. But always, always keep the secret. The other person will always remember, even after you’ve forgotten.
7) Don’t do stupid. Intelligent people should never deliberately act ridiculous or ask obvious questions or make annoying comments just to get attention. Let the quality of your work speak volumes and let your actions and words echo to match.
That’s all folks. Timeless, candid and insightful, just like my mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!