Top Ten Reasons to be Thankful for HR

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By Stephanie Hammerwold

Here in the U.S., it’s the time of year where we gather for a large meal and to give thanks for our friends and family. It has been a couple years since I left the HR trenches to venture into consulting, and I want to take a moment to sing the praises of my colleagues who toil away on the frontlines of HR, working hard to create better workplaces. Here (in no particular order) are the top ten reasons we should all be thankful for the HR superheroes in our workplaces:

  1. Many HR people fight hard behind the scenes to advocate for what is in the best interest of employees even when upper management argues against workplace improvements.
  2. Do you work at a company with good benefits? Thank your HR team. They are usually the ones shopping around for the best insurance options and putting other benefit programs in place.
  3. HR sets up paid time off programs. Next time you are sitting on a beach and sipping a cocktail and being paid for your time, thank your HR team for paid vacation.
  4. HR oversees compensation, and they are the ones who go to upper management to make a case for better pay.
  5. Who do you run to when trouble is brewing with a coworker? HR people are often a fair and patient resource for sorting out workplace squabbles, and their goal is get issues resolved so that everyone involved can be happy and get back to work.
  6. Along those lines, HR people are the ones who handle serious issues, such as harassment or discrimination. They tirelessly investigate to ensure problems are resolved quickly, and this may involve making difficult decisions and getting in the middle of serious situations.
  7. HR people are a shoulder to cry on. They are the place employees go when they need a leave due to a major life event such as surgery or a seriously ill loved one. They also help connect employees with resources to help them through difficult times. Helping employees in that way is rewarding, but it can also be incredibly emotional.
  8. Do you like the people you work with? When HR hires new employees, they try to find people that not only have the skills for the job but are also a good fit in the department and company culture.
  9.  When you are getting bored in your job and looking to make a change, HR people are excellent career coaches. They can help you find other areas of the company that may be a good way to move up and can point you toward training programs and education benefits to help you get there.
  10. If you get to know your HR team, you will probably find that most of them are pretty friendly people. The job is not just about enforcing policy, and most of us who work in HR do so because we really do have a commitment to improving workplaces.

So, before you settle into your Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, take a moment to thank your HR team for all they do.


Photo by Tim Pershing