In HR we are not generally known for our kindness. The work we carry out is usually along a negative theme:
Regulating the rules
Re-organising and sacking people
Giving bad news
And the list can go on and on…
None of the above exclude kindness.
In the world, we often have to deal with terrible situations, personally I have deal with over 200 staff dismissals and 9 situations where employees have died at work. My key lesson is that we have to remain human and remember others. The job is made redundant but the person is going through one hell of a change process – it is our job to support and remain thoughtfully kind.
Kindness doesn’t mean being dishonest, it is in the delivery of any communication – if you are genuinely thoughtful of the other person’s feelings, this is a step towards kindness.
A lot of our world is insensitive or appears to be. Managers feel the need to be aggressive or unfeeling – sometimes it is their way of being kind to themselves (this is never successful by the way). Having a genuine empathy towards your employees generates respect for a Leader.
Ok, so sometimes we have try very hard to be able to do this. The people we have met “deserve” what is coming to them. Once I had to sack a senior employee who had been found guilty of having child pornography, what did I do to get through that?
I thought of how the person’s world had crashed around him
I thought of how he had lost his family and friends
I thought of how he would never truly recover from these events
I put to one side the fact that he had done something heinous
I thought of the inner battles that person may be having
As they say…. “love the sinner, hate the sin”
It wasn’t my job to forgive or forget, just to forego my personal judgement and look at the rules he had broken in regard to employment and work.
We all have, at some points in our lives, have to give bad messages, but with a bit of reflection, we can be considerate and kind. With this approach you will always ensure that you have done your best by those people.
NOTE: To all leaders, managers and employees who engage with HR Managers or Consultants to deal with negative work situations, REMEMBER we are affected too but seldom considered in terms of needing support.