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The “Mother” of All HR Problems

Lately, I have seen the term “HR Lady” circulating around the internet on blogs.

Yes, still in this day and age there are HR Ladies.  It is a personality type or more aptly “personnelity type”.

In fact, I have many, many good friends, colleagues and mentors who probably directly relate to and are flattered by the term “HR Lady”. Sometimes I myself feel like an HR Lady.  Indeed, because there is so much progesterone in the mix, we do end up with a profession of Mother Hens.

On this Mothers’ Day, I want to make a profound statement though–the workplace is no place for HR Mothers.  Keep motherhood to your own two and four-legged brood.  The HR Lady has to stop behaving like a mother at the workplace.

To be clear, I’m not saying that you can’t be a mother and work in HR, in fact we’d have a skills shortage if that were to occur, however, I’d like to highlight the problems of being too “motherly” in a workplace.  Among these problems:

  • Employees are not children, and we should not treat them as such.
  • Don’t use “baby talk” to explain the obvious to adults.
  • Employees don’t need to be protected; they need to be encouraged to self-manage, and learn from mistakes.
  • Employees should clean up after themselves.
  • Do not use the crutch of nagging to get things done (a strategy often used by mothers).
  • HR Professionals need to use more than just their intuition to identify problems.

Enjoy your special day, with your family and not at work.

That is all.

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