In watching individuals and organizations mobilize during this time I have recognized that mission is not reserved for those giving away large sums of money or making sweeping changes in broader society. Mission exists in many different formats big and small, in both the for profit and non-profit spaces and is, in essence, in the eye of the beholder. In an odd way, the COVID-19 crisis has turned my passion into my personal and business mission.
As my heart breaks for those we see nightly standing in lines for food and unemployment benefits as a result of losing their jobs to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HR nerdy side of me also constantly wonders about the CEOs of the businesses they worked for:
- did they have the support they needed to think through the organizational possibilities for their business?
- was there someone there ensuring they followed all of the laws designed to protect workers during the furlough or lay off process?
- were they able to decipher the HR hieroglyphics that were buried in the FFCRA and CARES pieces of legislation meant to help them?
- are they planning for what their organizations need to look like to be successful on the other side of this?
I worry that in many cases the answer to all of these questions is no. I was once taught by a wise HR leader that the best HR professionals followed the ABCs. They were A- advocates for people, B- business partners and C- catalysts for change. As I worked my way through an HR career and launched my own firm, I was always passionate about ensuring that organizational leaders had a strong HR partner to help support their teams, drive business results and advocate for needed organizational and culture changes.
Every organization deserves a great HR partner. I have always believed this, in fact I made it the tag line for my own business many years ago. I now see it as my mission. Large organizations have CHROs to support them every day, small to medium sized organizations, who employ the majority of people in our country, often go without this needed support simply because they don't need the support on a daily basis and can't afford the steep price tag. I, for one, see myself as in a position to help change this.
For me, this crisis has solidified my mission....has it for you?