HR from the Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business

HR from the Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business

HR from the Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business

HR from the Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business

Excerpt

Don't get me wrong. I'm not interested in bragging, or in even blowing my own horn. But somewhere along the line people started thinking of me as an HR leader who has the answers. It may be because I've had the marvelous good fortune of working for companies, like Southwest Airlines, Yahoo!, and Mary Kay Cosmetics, that are known as much for being great places to work as they are for the excellence of their products and services. In fact, it is the enthusiasm of their employees that gives these companies the stature they have in their industries. Over the years, many consultants and academics have come into the companies where I've worked to try to capture, graph, and quantify that certain something special that makes these organizations thrive and surpass their own industry standards. They come away with fancy formulas, all of which really boil down to one principle: Companies thrive when (1) they have a high-quality product or service that is needed by their customers, and (2) they are staffed by qualified employees who are dedicated to the corporate mission and who are basically nice, trustworthy, and respectful to one another.

On the flip side, in the more than twenty-five years that I've been in human resources, I've watched the HR profession itself struggle to claim its rightful place among the corporate power players. There seems to be a universal agreement (which I don't necessarily share, at least not all the time) that HR is suffering from low self-esteem as a result of years of criticism by certain business leaders who question the value of our profession. A few highly visible companies have taken to placing non-HR professionals in top HR leadership positions. Consultants around the world are intimidating perfectly well-grounded practitioners with fancy theories and jargon. In the meantime, there are thousands of HR practitioners who are looking for simple, no-pretense ways to bring the best of their own enthusiasm for the field and . . .

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