Believe

Year-end is always a full time for HR. There are various open enrollment efforts, reports and social events. Throw into the mix that we’re in the midst of the holiday season which brings it’s own set of emotions ranging from positive to stressful. At a time when you’d hope people would be more open and gracious, you may find just the opposite.

I find that the longer I’m in HR, the more I see a common theme in people. They want something, or someone, to believe in. This sentiment seems to swell during the holidays because of the focus of the season. Whenever we talk about belief in the workplace, we start to shudder. Our HR anxiety starts to creep up, and we fear that we’re going to venture into territory that will surely lead to us having conversations with people. They will be the conversations that even make us uncomfortable.

When did this happen to us? Why did we become the people that limit conversations about beliefs? I understand the legal boundaries and that people don’t want to have things forced upon them. They shouldn’t have that happen, but people still are looking for that connection to anchor them.

Some may say that we need to rally around the organization’s values and missions, and that has merit. However, it doesn’t go far enough. Beliefs are personal and people feel more complete when they know they’re heard and even expressed. I know this may be contrary to the norm, but I don’t think we need to jump to extremes.

believeI remember when I was very young, I desperately wanted a pony for Christmas. My mom took my brother and I to see Santa Claus at the local American Legion Hall. When I went to share my desired equine gift, Santa evidently was getting the “No” nod in the background from my mom. So, Santa being very adept and quick told me that if I memorized all of the names of his reindeer and came back next year, he’d get me the pony. I’m sure he thought I’d lose interest because I was so young.

I didn’t lose interest. I wrote down the names of the reindeer including Rudolph and memorized them. The following year we went back to the Legion Hall and I was ready. I sat on his lap and recited each reindeer in order. I rushed home, fell asleep (sort of) and jumped out of bed waiting to see my pony. It wasn’t there under the tree or outside and I was crushed.

My mom came to console me and she was fantastic as always. She knew that I was disappointed. We had a long talk, a few cookies and she explained that she understood my disappointment, but that Santa didn’t always get everything for every boy and girl. That’s why he asked for a wish list. I liked her response. It didn’t cover the reality, but it didn’t destroy my belief.

Honestly, my mom still uses Santa’s name on the name tags of presents for our family. She knows the power of belief and how that brings people together.

This is a great lesson that I have kept with me. This year step back and take a breath and don’t let the pace overwhelm you. Instead, take time to believe.

6 thoughts on “Believe”

  1. Excellent article Steve, very timely. Reminds me of what my Father said many years ago, you stop believing in Santa Claus…..Christmas will be no more….

  2. Steve, this is an awesome piece. Thanks for writing it. I’m a grown ass man of 40 with no kids of my own, and not at all religious, yet, I still believe. Not in Santa, but in the magic of Christmas and the effect it has on those of us who “get it.” But seriously, sorry about the pony, dude.

  3. Very heart warming! My niece just asked me the other day if I believed in Santa. My response . . . of course I do !!!! 🙂

  4. Not what I thought this article would be about but I love it! Thank you for sharing your sweet story!

  5. My Mom got me a “I Believe in Santa” t-shirt years ago. My Mom has since passed, but I still wear it every year on Christmas. Strong message in believing. Love the article!

  6. I like this Steve. There should be more joy, hope and belief in work. After all we are all just people. People who thrive on these powerful emotions. We just need leaders and managers to realize this, and to realize that providing this is a huge part of their job.

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