Going “political” on a human resources blog is always risky. Politics is polarizing and HR is supposed to be neutral so any mention of such topics could alienate readers. However, sometimes an issue pops up that just screams too be discussed.
And that’s why I found myself inspired by this post from Chris Fields at Cost of Work about President Obama’s recent speech at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner. Because the President’s speech and Chris’s post were saying something that really needed to be said. And I’m going to give “honey” to it here — and add my $0.02 on the sentiment …
During the speech, toward the end, President Obama specifically addresses the need for Black Americans to stop complaining about the difficulties they are facing in this economy because of government decisions, and start fighting by actively pressing Congress to pass the American Jobs Act. In his post, Chris agrees with the President and goes on to point out that complaining and grumbling about the issues does nothing to solve the problem. He goes on to say how easy it would for the President and the people of the city of Memphis where he lives to give in to their circumstances and give up altogether. But this is not a legitimate option. Only decisive action can lead to resolution!
When I read this, I thought “If anyone can relate to this, it’s HR!”
Nobody takes more heat in our organizations than HR! We get mocked for being too cautious, favoring the employee and not being fiscally conscious enough compared to other departments by the rest of management. We get rejected for not doing more, giving more and speaking up more on their behalf by the employees. We look for middle ground areas to try to satisfy all parties and reach the goal … and we get hammered by both sides for being too soft on the opposing side. We are called names, yelled at, hung up on, insulted, neglected, mistreated and marginalized yet still come back each day and give to people that we know don’t fully understand, support or appreciate us.
Yep, HR can definitely relate.
Chris intimated that while encouraging others to keep pressing forward, the President was also encouraging himself. HR professionals have to do the same. Because as annoying their unknowing and ungratefulness can be, they still look to us to advise, guide and protect them from themselves and each other. And we keep stepping up … because that’s what real HR professionals do!
So when we tell others to keep reading, blogging, networking and volunteering, we are really encouraging ourselves. When we tell others to keep researching and seeking for ways to improve, we are really encouraging ourselves. And if you are not encouraging others to keep working to do better and be better, you should be! Start tomorrow. And if you are not finding encouragement for yourself in what you say to others, you should be! Listen closely. It’s there — and if you pay attention, you’ll find it.
I know I just did.