Tag Archive | HR

Your Best


I had a saying that I taught my children, “Give your guest your best.” It’s actually a quote from a children’s book that I have long forgotten the title to. But the concept was a simple one that really helped my children to share their best stuff, give the biggest cookie, or the best seat, or the  longest turn to their friends. But it’s not just about giving your best stuff, but also your best effort, your best attitude, and your best self.  I think it served my family well. My children still hear me say it or parrot it back to me from time to time.

I like to carry that concept into the workplace as well. There are so many times that I get interrupted for a question, advice, shoulder to cry upon, to wage a complaint, for a last-minute “favor” or any number of other things. I’ve decided that HR is the “all other” folks. If you don’t know who to ask, well, by all means go ask HR. I don’t really mind, but I must say, we get some strange and wacky requests because people think that way.

By living the concept of giving my guest (or my customer) the best, it stretches me to be 100% present for them in the exchange. Trust me, it isn’t always easy. I know I’m not always successful. But having the mindset and making the effort is what I think helps me put the HUMAN back into the Human Resources. This is the work I have chosen to do. The is the person I strive to be.

So I ask you – do you give your guest (boss, family, customer, friends, yourself) your best? What’s stopping you? What’s helping you. In all these things, be blessed.

Legacies


Today I was watching a documentary about Abe Lincoln. I’ve never really been a history buff because in grade school it was all about the memorization of dates. That was of little interest or use to me. But the one element that I did enjoy was the telling of stories. When I could hear the stories of the characters of history, instead of or in addition to the dates, I suddenly had a different opinion. Likely this is because I live my life in the service of connection with other people, not just in the facts and figures of their lives.

One element of Abe’s story that was told today was about his ongoing battle with depression. The interesting thing about it was that he rose to fame and glory almost in spite of the depression. He allowed himself to feel what he felt but still went on the quest of a meaningful life. He stated at one point to a friend that he did not want to die without being remembered for something important, and for him it was the Emancipation Proclamation. That was indeed something worthy of being remembered.

This post isn’t really about Abe though, but rather, it’s about legacy.  I do believe that each of us has a legacy, or legacies, that we are called to leave behind. Some of them may be consciously created, like Lincoln’s, and others are simply alive in the memories of those we interact with but are not declared. As I look at those that I have lost in my family I can clearly see their legacies – joyful strength, strong work ethics, patience, love of family, and smiling faces.

As time creeps on and I get closer to retirement I have spent some time thinking of my own legacies. At work I’ve been blessed to hear from some people what they “remember” about me. One woman recently commented that I’m always smiling. That was one I wasn’t even conscious of but it delighted me to know. Several others have mentioned how they love the weekly inspirations I post on my board and how they deliberately walk by my office to see what I’ve shared. This pleases me so much because I want to consciously and deliberately touch the lives of others and inspire them to be their best selves. Still others have mentioned my passion for diversity and inclusion and they can see the mark I am leaving on the organization because of my work in this area. That is a good legacy and I’m motivated even more to continue with this. And as much as I never planned on it, I’ve been told that I am known for my skills and abilities in dealing with employee relations issues. As an HR professional, this is a very good skill and I’m glad to be known for it. I’m sure I have other legacies, some less noteworthy or positive, given that I’m a flawed human being. But for the most part, I am pleased that these are the things I’ll be remembered by.

From a personal standpoint I know that many people will remember me for my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God. Not just the book and it’s content, but also the story of how the book was written. That is a legacy that I am more than delighted to leave behind. And, with more time, I intend to add more books to the list. God willing!

As a daughter, sister, friend and mother I am much less sure what my legacies would be. I guess that is the story left untold for now. I know that both my good points and bad points show themselves more frequently to those I love. I hope the good outweigh the bad. I hope what I believe in and stand for overshadow that which I failed at or stumbled through.

Do you know your legacies? I’d love to hear who you’ve been in the world – it does inspire me and others to hear your story.

Share your legacies and be blessed!

My company blew up my world!


There are many things about my job and the company I work for that I really love. And over the course of my career, this company has changed many things about what I know and how I’ve developed. This is as it should be. But the greatest effect I have seen personally is actually cultural.

When I started working here at the age of 18, I was a fresh high school grad. I had lived in this city my entire life – actually within a 10 mile radius from where I was born. I was in a Catholic orphanage. I was adopted and raised by a loving Catholic family. I attended Catholic grade school and high school. I graduated from a Catholic college. I did (and do) consider all those things to be a blessing in their own right. And it was by chance that this is also the founding city and headquarters for this huge corporation in which I have built my career.  I had family, friends and neighbors who worked here. I felt very much at home.

As I worked my way through my career I found myself in a role as recruiter in our International division. It was my entry into HR and  by far my favorite role of my career.  Within one month my world went from being Cincinnati-centric to being global. Wow – my company “blew up” my world! What a change. I found myself talking to people all over the world. They came to visit and shared stories of their countries and their cultures. I was traveling to colleges across the US and interacting with students who were my age but from worlds I did not know and some countries I had never heard of before. With that single role I became an adventurer at heart. I created a list of places I want to see before my days are done. I was inspired to actually pursue bringing a foreign exchange student into my home and was delighted when Heidi from Norway became my daughter for a year.

This single aspect of my career has helped me grow in so many ways. I am privileged to have learned from so many people. I immersed myself in understanding other cultures to the point that I was able to create and deliver cross-cultural training sessions to my colleagues. I appreciate, live and breathe diversity and inclusion every day of my life. Today I find myself privileged to be in a very diverse and rich organization. My boss is from Mexico. I work on teams and sit by colleagues from China, Japan, Canada, Venezuela, Columbia, Germany, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, England, Egypt and so many more places. I know and appreciate not only Catholics but Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and more. I don’t know all the countries nor all the religions of those who I work and laugh with. Without leaving my company or even leaving my desk I now can say that I am not just a citizen of Cincinnati but a citizen of the world.

Even as I write this blog I am fascinated to look at my visitor counter and see that people from 15 different countries have read my words. I hope you have all felt welcome and/or inspired. I appreciate each and every one of you! Thanks for joining my world – be blessed!

A really, really good day!


Today is a good day – a really, really good day in the wild world of Barb.

As an HR manager for a huge corporation I can’t always say that this is true. We get to help dig people out of crisis of all sorts – from strategic and staffing dilemmas, to employee issues with plans, policies, and benefits to performance and personnel issues where we investigate and deal with misbehaving rascals. Yep, even the best of companies mirror the rest of society. But today was different.

One thing I love about my company is that in addition to our “day job” we are encouraged to follow our passions in pursuit of creating a better company culture and business success. We value diversity of all sorts and we strive to bring that value to life inside our company. In that vein I’m honored that today I got to launch a project that is so in line with my passion. I’ve been working for 1 1/2 years to bring to fruition a project pilot working with students with disabilities.  We are finally able to hit  GO on this project and have a couple of students come into the work place. We will start small and build awareness and success until we can bloom and spread this effort to other areas of the company.

The reaction of the organization when we launched the pilot program today was so heartwarming. To see the enthusiasm for the idea and the support and excitement for the students to come was frankly touching. I’ve had more people share their pride for our company and appreciation for our team’s effort than I dared to imagine. And I’m humbled because for me this does not need praise.  This is about joining hands and doing something really right with great love and compassion. This is about community, spirit, and valuing for all. This is what it means to be truly human.

So today I will get to go home with a big smile on my face and with a warmth in my heart that in my little corner of the world I am able to influence leaders and create opportunities for kids who have great hope, big dreams, and many, many abilities.

I think I’ll celebrate with a hug for my kids and indulge myself with a sentimental tear or two.

Yes, today is a really, really good day!