Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

“For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People”

Those are the words carved into the historic Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

We used to skew that a wee bit and say the HR Office I worked in was “for the benefits and employment of the people.” After all, working in HR for 20 years allows you to find humor in odd little corners.

I know of operations with no HR Office. With an HR Office of One (Bless You, One 🙂 And with HR offices with cubicles and specialists abuzz with activities that would make your head spin. Where do you fit in? What “human resource(s)” are you providing – to the organization, to your fellow leaders and your employees? Maybe even to the community at large?

HR is not for the faint of heart. You must love wearing a whole bunch of hats. You have to love to juggle. You are called to juggle hats, juggle files, juggle staff and juggle your life. You have to be able to listen well, be empathic and sometimes, “telepathetic” (a favorite word scheme from the movie “Stepmom”, aka telepathic.) There’s little doubt that HR folks are amazing. Don’t you forget that.

There’s much to be said for HR being a “strategic partner” in an operation. On a daily basis, the HR staff is asked to walk the fine line between administration and employees. The advantage of that role is being able to share the “human cost factor” of decisions when called to the table, sitting alongside others that may only be looking at the bottom line or cold, hard facts. We’d rather our employees not be cold, hardened, or bottomed out, yes?

SSYellowstoneARchBisonAmidst your crazy busy schedule of employee orientation, training, file audits, uniform ordering, recruiting, writing newsletters, and then some ….. try to carve out an occasional 5 minute stretch of time where you can breathe in and breathe out (3 times for optimal effect). Do a little toss of your head, and return to your rat race a little less ratty. Take just a little time to refresh yourself and your energies and your intentions. Come back to your center and try to remember a few of the good things you bring to the table, for the benefit and enjoyment of you, and all your people.


If you've never worked in HR, it's hard to understand the delicate line that office falls on. They are the middle man between the administration and the employees, which means they take heat from both sides. No matter how big or small the HR team is, they help the company wheels keep turning.

Affiliated Physicians May 05, 2011