A central facet of HR’s role is employee wellbeing.
From implementing employee-centric wellbeing programmes, supporting people when they return to work following long-term sickness absence, resolving conflicts and managing workplace stress, HR practitioners have the mammoth responsibility of ensuring that their staff are happy and healthy at work.
But, is HR appreciated and recognised for its efforts? A recent thread circulating on LinkedIn suggested that the function probably doesn’t receive thanks as often as it should.
One HR practitioner explained, that for the first time in her whole HR career (circa 17 years), an employee bought her a present to say thank you for helping them. Stephanie Ingham, Group HR Manager at Coral Products PLC, wrote on LinkedIn: “I nearly cried. HR professionals spend so much time coaching managers and focusing on employee wellbeing that people seem to forget HR are people too. Made my day, will never forget it.”
Many comments on the LinkedIn thread suggested that this level of appreciation is somewhat a rarity.
Claudia White, Head of HR at Concept Life Sciences, replied to the LinkedIn thread writing: “Good work on this, shows that HR is a thankless job in a lot of circumstances – subject to blame on difficult situations, when all the majority of us just want to do is the right thing!
“It’s good to see this kind of recognition, hopefully the landscape of our roles change even further and we receive even more acknowledgement for the hard work, resilience and support HR puts in.”
Another LinkedIn user, Mansjusree Beena, HR Business Partner at Oceaneering, commented on the post saying that it was ‘such a good gesture’. Beena added: “For Christmas an Employee sent me a bunch of flowers to say thank you for supporting his return to work after long term absence.. I nearly cried as well.. it is great that we HR are able to make a good impact on Employees in many ways..(sic)”.
HR Manager, Kristin Catalfamo, took to LinkedIn writing: “What a sweet surprise! Sometimes people forget that we’re also human with feelings and needs. It’s never expected, but always so nice when others recognise that! (sic)”
While many LinkedIn users were pleased that Ingham was finally being recognised for her efforts, some explained that they weren’t expecting gratitude anytime soon.
“What a lovely story .I’m still waiting for my first thank you bottle of wine , not expecting it anytime soon (sic),” Karen Fisher, HR Director at Breezemount Group wrote.
It is important to remember, as the post highlights, that HR is human too. Helping employees overcome struggles and making decisions with staff in mind is part of the job but it doesn’t mean that the department’s hard work should slip under the radar unnoticed.
So, employees, next time HR gives you a helping hand, a simple thank you or a small gesture can go a long way.