Tag Archive | Human resources

My queue is filling up …


week1Well I have sailed through my first week on the new job. Tomorrow I go back to train my replacement on part of my old job so I’m calling week 1 complete. 🙂

computer-frustrationWhew! It’s been a whirlwind kind of week! I’ve had access issues and problems with every single system I need to use. Was it the gremlins activating Murphy’s law? Yep, that’s my theory and I’m sticking with it. I even had trouble with my new phone line – so if you called me, I really wasn’t avoiding you, I just didn’t know. Perhaps that was a blessing in disguise so no-one could hear me threatening the computer to “make my day” because of the crazy access issues.

I’ve learned a few things this week beyond the basics of my tasks and responsibilities. First, that folks in this area are very data focused and decidedly NOT relationship/people focused. When I suggested we “join-up” as an introduction of ourselves and backgrounds to several individuals as I met with them for the first time I received some blank stares, flat out “no”, a declaration that they didn’t need new friends, and even some ignoring that I had asked the question. Geez people, I didn’t ask you to go shopping, donate a kidney, or play truth or dare. A brief, corporate-worthy, dry bio review or howdy-do would have been an acceptable minimum. I got it, I got it – this place is “different”. Better luck next week Barb – maybe. Now I know why we need some HR career folks to bring a little bit of the human back to the Human Resources over here. Lucky for them, I’m resilient as well as friendly. 🙂 Now, to be fair, most people in this area are actually IT or F&A career coded, or used to be, so I’ll grant them a bit of grace and slack.

But, most surprising, and I don’t know why, is that my completely different HR experience has already come in handy. My new boss is grateful that I have an understanding of the Company at large, the business practices in other areas, as well as basic HR facilitation skills. She’s complimented me on bringing not only fresh eyes, but some HR structure to the team. Putting a smile on the boss’s face the first week is a very good thing.  I am grateful that my new boss sees the value I can bring from my experience.

people_queueLuckily, real life is usually way, way less scary than our imaginations lead us to believe. I came trough unscathed. I’m glad I came. I can see a place for  me to learn, grow, collaborate, and teach here. I can see the queue of people I am supposed to meet in my life here starting to grow. I am blessed!

Any new adventures in your world? Do tell …. and be blessed!

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.

The whole enchilada


We have a concept in our company called “bringing your whole self to work”. With all the diversity and inclusion work that we do, that is our ideal goal. We do a lot to make our culture such that this is a reality and not just an empty slogan. The intent is that each person feels they can bring their individual passions, talents, skills, personality, and strengths to the workplace. And we are valued for who we are and how we see the world as a way to make our products better and our consumers more delighted. I love that concept and have been thinking about whether it is true for me. Here are the facets of myself that I do bring to work:

> Integrity/Moral Compass – I do not need to abandon what I believe in when I do my work and interact with people. This isn’t about religion but rather trust, honesty, respect, doing what’s right, etc.  This is so important – I would need to leave if this were not the truth for me.

> Passion for personality types – understanding what makes people “tick” and how they work together has been a long-standing passion and interest of mine. Being in HR and working with organization design and team dynamics is exactly what I need to be doing for this passion to come to work with me.

> Creativity – not just in problem solving, but also in creating a fun and energizing place to work definitely comes in with me. I especially love to bring this part of myself to “play” in my job. It’s much more about how I think and work rather than just what I’m working on.

> Compassion – is especially alive when I work with employee relations issues. I balance compassion for the person with doing the right thing for the Company. Being a principle-based company vs. rule-based makes this a lot easier for me to do.

> Spontaneity – while the workplace has much rigor in it, there are always opportunities for me to take initiative and be spontaneous within my own projects. For the most part, I’m the driver of my timing and schedule, which leaves room for my spontaneous side to thrive within the box.

> Leader – being in “middle management” brings opportunities to lead projects, as well as people. There’s a wealth of A-type personalities in my company so being a leader is important. I don’t just drive the strategies and priorities, but also influence the players. Leadership is an easy part of myself to bring and use at work.

> Humor – there’s nothing more fundamental to human beings than to smile and laugh. Luckily, I work with a group of folks who have just as much of a wacky sense of humor as I do. We get a big laugh quite frequently, which makes the hard work go down just a bit easier.

There are so many aspects of who I am and some do not translate into the workplace. That’s okay, because the ones that do relate all seem to be coming with me. I don’t feel like I’m abandoning “who I am” in order to do what I do. I know this makes me fortunate. I am grateful for the blessing.

What about you – do you bring your whole self to work? Are there some aspects of your personality, talents, or strengths that you leave at home because they are not valued? I challenge you to see if there is something you can do about that.

In the meantime, be whole, 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!