Put a Little Love . . .

This past weekend I was at the University of Indianapolis with my daughter who decided after this visit to join them next year as a Freshman.  It’s a time of transition for me, my family and my daughter.  Why should that matter to anyone but us ??

Good question.  You see, I’m experiencing a “transition” in my personal life and it just hit me because SEVERAL of my friends have been facing transitions as well.  Just this past month the following has happened:  four HR friends lost their jobs, one HR friend lost her father and another his mother-in-law, three HR friends are struggling with their marriages and/or divorce.  It shouldn’t matter . . . but it does !!

As HR people we don’t take time to know what’s really going on in people’s lives because we think it takes too much time.  Also, if we know about what’s happening we might have to DO something with that information.  Another pressure we face is we have managers who think that personal situations just get in the way of work that REALLY matters.  Ironically, if a personal situation comes up that involves them personally, then they want us to take note.  Huh !!

What would happen if we did take notice of people’s personal situations?  I don’t mean to take it to a creepy level.  Instead, I propose this.  Take note of the various highs/lows that people choose to share and SHOW GENUINE INTEREST instead of passing glances and quick “Hello’s”.  We keep asking people to handle change, and yet we ignore the transitions and changes that are happening to them everyday.  Just by listening, we may relieve the anxiety, pressure and uncertainty of what they’re facing.  I take great joy in laughing with, crying with and rejoicing with people I work with and know that because those events truly matter to them, they likewise matter to me.

You can’t keep asking people to put the “H” back in HR if you aren’t willing to model it yourself.  It made me think of the great 70’s song “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.”  I love the Annie Lennox/Al Green version (in this link).

So, I’m excited about the new transition about to happen as my daughter continues to grow and head off to college next year.  I’m excited about your transitions too because it truly makes “the world a better place for you . . . and me . . . you just wait . . . and see !!”

11 thoughts on “Put a Little Love . . .”

  1. Great post – thanks for sharing! I do a fair amount of training on HR/employment law and after years of doing it, I’ve come to the realization that it all really comes down to one little word: LOVE. If you truly love your employees, they’ll be more engaged & productive. If you don’t, they won’t (and they just might sue you). Thanks again! (And, for what it’s worth, I’d have to say I’m partial to the original Jackie DeShannon version of the song.)

  2. So true, so true! I’m endeavoring to “embrace” the transitions in my life this year and to remember that they are opportunities for growth. Thanks for sharing this post and for reminding us why we’ve chosen to be HR folks! (It’s about being genuinely, intentionally connected… it’s about sharing the love!!!)

  3. Steve,
    Congratulations on this transition…for you and your daughter. Change is scary and yet it’s one of the only things that pushes us out of our comfort zone. I agree that it’s so important to acknowledge, listen and genuinely care about the whole person…not just the employee who comes to work. It’s amazing how people respond and become internally motivated to work when they feel cared for. Thanks for sharing this post and a little about your own life.

  4. Steve, first great post….second….those personal things that you mentioned – job loss, divorce, deaths in family all hit HR people just as hard as anyone else. We aren’t immune, as you know. I made a few really questionable personal and professional decisionswhen I was going though divorce. I wish I could getsome of the moments back…

  5. Love this line in your blog…”We keep asking people to handle change, and yet we ignore the transitions and changes that are happening to them everyday.” So true. If we all reached out a little more then maybe we could help folks through their changes a little easier. As usual, another great post. Thanks!

  6. Mark, Chris, Steph, Mike, Elizabeth and Mary – Thanks for the great comments. Glad to see that the post hit home with you and with others. I appreciate that you took time to comment and share of yourself as well !! Peace – Steve

  7. You are so right about listening. In the last few years my boss lost a sixteen year old daughter to cancer and his wife to ALS. He will remarry late this year. He needed someone to listen as he found his own way to deal with these major changes. He did not need another person telling what the norms were for dealing with the tragedies and when and how to move on. Norms are only what is normal for you.

  8. Steve,
    Great post and from personal experience “the changes just keep on comin”! We all need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and heartfelt support from time to time and as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, etc. (even HR folks) we need to want to be there for others.

  9. Great post Steve. As usual you are right on the mark with your observations and sense of caring for your fellow man. HR, after all, contains “human”…we are all human and need to feel, and at times to give, love.

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