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As a manager and HR professional, I encounter a lot of foolishness and hatefulness in the workplace. Passive-aggressive behavior, back-stabbing, finger-pointing, laziness, discrimination, bullying and flagrant insubordination are all too real! This is part of the reason I enjoy working in HR. I get to help find justice for wronged individuals; I get to help train and develop other managers to overcome these same issues and prevent them for the future.
There are times, however, when the responsibility to protect the employer I work for and mitigate potential liability feels like it clashes with my faith. There are times where I feel like a hitman sent to take out a pesky adversary like something out of mobster film. Terminating employees doesn’t feel good. Negotiating ‘no-fault’ separation agreements doesn’t feel good. Denying employee requests doesn’t feel good.
So what do I do about it? Why do I keep going to work and doing this stuff every day?! How have I managed to stay in this career for almost 15 years?!?
I adhere to the rules and the spirit in which they were intended.
NLT Romans 15:4 – “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning”
In the workplace, this verse of Scripture applies to the policies, procedures, training documents, handbooks and manuals. These governing documents are the ideal way for the business of the workplaces to be conducted. The documents are typically not written with the intention of causing hurt, harm, danger or confusion. On the contrary, they are written to be consistent, effective, efficient and fair in our workplace dealings. They are written for our learning.
Therefore, I choose to believe the processes and practices that derive from them are also intended for the good of the people in our workplaces. I see God in the order which comes from enforcing and upholding the standards set forth in policies, procedures, training documents, handbooks and manuals. So I focus on that as I handle the challenges which come my way (Philippians 4:8).
When someone violates regulations that are intended for good, that person is out of order and should be corrected. When someone is violated by someone who misused regulations to cause harm, there is a responsibility to correct that also. But that may not necessarily mean the wronged individual can keep working. And it may mean more than just a warning for the person who broke the rules. It may mean letting people go. And, no matter how often you do it, that never gets easier – especially in these times where our economy is suffering and unemployment is so high!
In those moments, I focus on the fact that God is able. He provides for me and He protects me. And I know He does the same for others! I remember that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28) and what may seem like a terrible outcome could be part of God’s plan to bring about good things in the future (Genesis 50:20). And I pray before, during and after major decisions for His will to be done, even when it doesn’t feel good to me and/or when I don’t understand.
My hope is that this is enough. Amen.
Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over 10 years experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She currently works for a large retail franchise handling employee relations, health benefits, COBRA, wellness, leave of absence and compliance.
Buzz has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. She is also a part-time HR consultant offering resume writing, basic management coaching, process improvement and compliance assistance services.
When not working or writing or researching, Buzz is a single mom with 2 young children living in North Carolina. She enjoys mindlessly watching television, spending time with friends and family, reading, eating and sleeping.
Read more of her writings, connect and contact her through her blog’s website: The Buzz on HR (www.thebuzzonhr.com)
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