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My Career through the HR Lens 57

In Leadership studies, research have shown that women are better transformational leaders than men. I can say that my being in Human Resources (HR) today further buttresses this point.

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I used to have this contempt for HR professionals until I became one myself. I used to attribute the stunted growth in the early years of my career to them. Even in instances where my appraisals were perfect, I still missed out on the promotion list sometimes.

For this reason, I never liked the HR folks and the grumpiness I had for my career continued until I met my wife.  First, she gave up her job so that I could keep mine. At that time we were both working with the same organisation but in different locations. It was a policy of the company that if an employee marries a colleague, one of the couple will cease to remain in the company! I’m sure in countries with robust employment laws, an ‘obnoxious’ policy of this nature cannot be in existence.

Probably the reason for ‘anti-marriage’ policy by the HR folks in the company was to entrench corporate governance. No, that cannot be the reason because the company doors were later shut for financial infractions by the government. Despite the policy, we went ahead to get married.

business_people_highdefinition_picture_4_hd_pictureA lot of people would think it would only be rationale for me to stay in the company and my wife leave for a new job.

This was what we did but it was tough arriving at such decision. There were a lot of pros and cons to it depending on the way one viewed it. I kept my job and a wife, two times lucky you would say!

I did not see myself as being lucky because I felt I needed to have a job I would be happy with if I wanted a happy home. Changing jobs is a crucial decision which requires deep thoughts and a bit of consultations. In my own case, the only person I consulted was my wife.

We decided I should pursue a Masters degree in the UK with the hope that I could re-invent myself and brighten up my career prospects. Post graduate degrees cost a fortune for international students in the UK and it would mean my savings was going to be depleted. We weighed the risks and other options that were available to us but we stuck to our guns. Another important decision we had to make was the choice of course of study. In fact it was her decision that I should study Human Resources Management (HRM) and I acceded to it.

Prior to my HR experience at a consulting firm, I had been responsible for the design and delivery of training programmes of my team and also responsible for their appraisals in an earlier job. All these would not have made me to read HRM left for me but for my wife who is gifted with exceptional leadership qualities.

Leaders take calculative risks; develop other leaders; believe in their team; teach and learn from their team.

In my wife, I have a transformational leader who has rediscovered me and brought spark into our home.

On completion of my studies I returned fully into mainstream HR where I still am. This has accorded me the opportunity to correct the impression I had for HR back then in the formative years of my career. HR like any other department within an organisation competes for funds and other resources for its activities. In the face of prevalent lean resources most grappling most businesses, some HR activities are never get done. I have come to realise that performance management is not always associated with promotion; sometimes it is done to identify development needs of employees or measuring the company’s performance against individual targets.

I have come to appreciate the effort HR pros put into their jobs.

Let me admit that meeting every request of employees is impracticable which is why we empathise when we cannot deliver.

We are trained to listen to complaints from employees even when such complaints are ‘dumb’. In the discharge of our duties, we sometimes wield the big stick as a means of correcting a deviant act. I have had cause to rotate staff across departments for strategic and developmental reasons. Sometimes we hate to see employees go; the many exit interviews I have conducted have been revealing on our processes and policies. The list is endless.

In writing about my HR career in this piece, I tried to tell a story of how I got into HR using HR narratives and what I do in HR to project topical issues that make the profession tick.

Some of the issues highlighted include Employment Law, Worklife balance and employee engagement. Other issues highlighted within the purview of HR discourse are strategic HR functions; performance management; learning and development, job rotation, teamwork and Leadership.

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Bashir Baba

Human Resource Practitioner
Follow Bashir's blog - http://simplyhrmatters.wordpress.com/

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