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The Quiet Hand of Human Resources

    When I say, "the quiet hand of HR," I don't mean anything like the invisible hand of the market. No, I mean something entirely different, and much more personal.

    Yesterday, I read an article on by Mark Stelzner entitled, "On Fear and HR." I encourage all Human Resources professionals to read it. Mr. Stelzner is a good storyteller and makes a profound point, which was that, "[HR should be] the quiet hand for employees to take hold of when they don’t know where to turn. We shouldn’t make fun of this role nor should we shy away from its importance."

    This weight of this point has pressed upon me more and more. I know that there are probably some jaded souls out there who will say, "that's all our employees want us to do ALL the time is HOLD THIER HANDS through every little thing. They're not children for goodness sake!" And to that I would say that there is a difference in holding someone's hand while they deal with their problems, rather than holding someone's hand while you deal with their problems.

    On Fear and HR reminded me of a trip I took with my supervisor to our company's headquarters several years ago. I was unwittingly at a turning point in my career. I was experiencing a wide range of emotions - many of them were probably rooted in fear of one thing or another. My supervisor, also an HR professional though he says he's just a salesperson, played the role of that quiet hand for me. And I'd like to think things have gone pretty well for me since then. After reading the article I sent my supervisor a note thanking him again for his support during that road trip we shared years ago. He replied that it was a big moment in his career as well, but that "your biggest moments are yet to come." He just never stops, and it is my great pleasure to have him as a supervisor.

    My hope is that I can have some similar impact on another person's life and career in my role as an HR professional

    - Nathan Hayes, PHR.

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