Smile, You’re In HR!

For those of us working in office buildings, we often find ourselves bumping into familiar faces of coworkers on a regular basis. Be it in the cafeteria while filling the coffee cup, in the hallway on the way to a meeting, or meandering through the cube farms. On occasion we nod and smile, wave, or sometimes engage in friendly chats. I have several of instances of this on any given day – some with coworkers or customers and others with work acquaintances, people I don’t typically work with but know because we work in the same building.

Recently I had a hallway conversation with a work acquaintance. It most likely started with comments on the weather (which is common in Minnesota). What stood out about this particular interaction is the part when he asked me what I do. When I told him I work in HR in the recruitment function, a look of shock came across his face. The shock was followed by, “Really? You work in HR? But every time I see you, you’re smiling.”


Now, his surprise could be the result of his personal dealings with HR or the horror stories passed on to him from colleagues. I don’t know. What I do know is that he is not alone in his perception of HR. Unfortunately for us positive HR folk, there are some curmudgeons doing their darndest to hold fast to the days of HR implementing policies to dictate corporate rules, policing companies, telling employees what they cannot do, and saying “no” at every opportunity. Those crabby HR people they need to step aside.

HR is better than that.

We HR practioners have knowledge, experience and skills that empower people and organizations! We get to:

  • Help managers find talent;
  • Inform candidates they Got The Job!;
  • Identify ways for employees to save for retirement;
  • Coach and develop employees and leaders;
  • Design organizational structures to support efficiencies;
  • Reward and recognize outstanding performance;
  • Ensure workers are fairly compensated;
  • And a ton of other really cool things!


What’s not to smile about?

Smile in the airDo we have dirty work to do from time to time? Absolutely. There are some HR tasks that are just plain ugly, but let’s not have those overshadow all the awesome things we HR pros get to do!

Smile, You’re in HR!


Alicia McDougal


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