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Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: Human Resources at Work

This article relates to the Human Resource Functions competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. It reflects one employee's satisfaction with the manner in which her HR department carried out their work. This competency examines how your employees feel with regards to the quality and implementation of the human resource role within your organization. A human resource department that is properly informed of employee issues, demonstrates a high integrity level, and communicates effectively with staff and management should expect a high satisfaction level in this competency area.

This short story, Human Resources at Work, is part of AlphaMeasure's compilation, Tales From the Corporate Frontlines. It illustrates how a competent, compassionate staff can perform their HR functions and really make a difference in the lives of employees, creating goodwill that spreads throughout the workplace.

Anonymous Submission: Human Resources at Work

I've worked at a few different companies, and never had much interaction with human resources departments, other than hiring and benefits enrollment paperwork.

I'd like to tell you about one staff member who really made a difference in my life. Stricken with a sudden and very debilitating sickness, I was completely confused about my benefits and responsibilities with regard to time off for treatment, and the coverage provided by my company-paid health insurance plan. I'd rarely even been sick before, and never hospitalized.

I called work from my hospital bed to tell my manager what had happened. I asked a few questions about my options and he told me he hadn't a clue---and offered to transfer my call to the HR department. I really didn't know what to expect. I had heard some lunchroom complaints abut nasty attitude over the years, but had no reason to expect a problem in this situation. Still, I was nervous.

I needn't have been. Julie was kind, helpful, and very efficient. She had a broad base of knowledge about my benefit programs and the sequence of procedures that I should follow. There were a few areas that seemed questionable, but she promised to get answers and get back to me. She fulfilled that promise quickly and efficiently.

Over the next few weeks, which proved to be a trying period, Julie was always there for me. She helped me process paperwork, contacted the proper home office departments on my behalf, and did everything she could to minimize the stress involved in my recovery. "You just concentrate on getting better, I'll take care of everything at this end", she would say to me whenever things got too confusing. She really understood my distraction and took over for me when I wasn't thinking clearly. I'm sure there were times when another person would have lost her cool and become frustrated, but Julie never did.

I recently returned to work after a long rehabilitation period. I'm feeling much better now, and see and speak to Julie less often. When I think of the people who were most responsible for helping me to recover, I always think of her. She took responsibility to assist me, and did a fantastic job. She knew how to handle my issues, and was masterful at effective communication. Julie is an asset to our human resources department, and reached the standard that I believe all professionals in this field should strive for.

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Josh Greenberg is President of AlphaMeasure, Inc.

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