05 Sep 2018

The Agony & Ecstasy of working as an HR Professional in Organizations today

One should not become an artist because he can, but because he must. It is only for those who would be miserable without it.” 

These were the lines written by American Author Irving Stone in his literary magnum opus, the biographical work “The Agony and the Ecstasy” in order to summarize the state of mind of the archetypal Renaissance man, the artist par excellence- Michelangelo.

The same could be said to be true of the HR function as well. It is well worth noting that the HR Professional of today is in so many ways a Renaissance man too as his thoughts and ideas are harbingers of a new future. He is no less a polymath than Da Vinci himself. He is constantly expected to exercise expertise to resolve a vast array of assorted business challenges which constantly keep him on his toes.

Between his role as a strategic business partner who is expected to promote business growth and his role as a champion of employee rights, he is perennially on a tightrope walk. If his fine balancing act were to go slightly off course, he would either plunge into the chasm of employee exploitation in the quest for profits or get buried under the weight of criticism owing to loss of competitive business advantage.

Added into this agonizingly turbulent mix are his own functional challenges originating from talent sourcing and culminating in employee retention and everything else in between. As the cut throat competition between organizations intensifies, a lot hinges on the HR Professional to get his act right with no margin for error.

But amidst all these storm clouds, there exists the occasional silver lining as well. That one employee who got promoted with your guidance, that other employee who repaid his loans with your advice, a third employee who is now making ends meet because you referred his spouse for a job using your contacts, a fourth employee whose brother is well settled due to the career advice you shared and so on. The infinite opportunities which are available to the HR professional to improve employees’ careers and make a positive difference in their lives never cease to exist. The payback which a HR Professional gets on doing his job well is the gratitude of people. And gratitude is priceless!

To quote from the Bhagavad Gita, “When you make a positive impact in one life, it is equivalent to saving the whole universe twice”. Very few professions offer the sense of satisfaction of having genuinely helped people and scope of earning spiritual merit in the process of discharging your duty and the HR profession is one among those few.

To conclude, the ecstasy definitely trumps over all the agony in this role. To all the HR professionals who are in this role because they want to make a difference in the lives of people, you are just as valuable to this world as Michelangelo and Da Vinci themselves. Cheers!!!

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