We’re happy to bring you insights and inspirations from esteemed HR Professionals. We’ve created the HR Passion Series as a medium to connect individuals in the HR World, to learn from each other, create community, and inspire.
This is where you get to hear full, unedited opinions and answers from top practitioners in the field who are excited to reach out and share with the community.
We’re delighted to feature this week’s guest. Please welcome Barbara Lovejoy, Director of Organizational Development at FastMed Urgent Care.
1. What was your journey coming up to your current HR role? Any milestone moments in your career?
As I look back, there are times the journey seemed long and daunting but other times, like a flash. Back when I was in college, there was no defined “HR” degree. My major was Communications. I really thought I wanted to be a broadcaster of some sorts. But then I took an Interpersonal Communications class and instantly KNEW this was an area that I wanted to explore. Luckily, the university I attended provided some great classes that would help build a foundation to working with “people”.
My first “real” HR position was with a staffing company. I started out as a Service Representative and loved the generalist approach to the job. It provided a wonderful opportunity to experience the many tactical components of HR. I was fortunate enough to be promoted to Branch Manager. This role provided so many enriched learning opportunities and opened many doors for me. Honestly, the biggest milestone for me was not a defining moment of a process or project but more of personal accomplishment. At the age of 30, I had the opportunity to travel to Milwaukee for my job. I had never flown, nor had I ever traveled alone. After making this trip and overcoming that fear, I knew I could accomplish many things!
2. As an HR leader, what keeps you up at night, rounding out 2018 and looking forward to the next year?
Finding and keeping exceptional talent! I think a lot about how companies are providing opportunities that allow their people to experience engaging and fulfilling work. Also, how are companies supporting their talent to grow and become more valuable. It’s essential to keep good talent especially in the current tight labor market.
3. What are some elements of focus for your HR strategy in the coming 12 months?
Ensuring we have the right people in the right roles at the right time. In addition, providing the appropriate tools and resources to our leaders that allow them to more effectively lead their teams.
4. What advice would you give someone going into an HR leadership position for the first time?
Be willing to listen to every side of every story before drawing a conclusion. Eliminate anything that is not fact and carefully consider the most appropriate outcome.
5. Is there anything in your career you’re incredibly proud of?
Being promoted to a Manager position without having completed my college degree. I worked very hard to ensure that the company had confidence in their decision to promote someone without an advanced education. I have since completed my Bachelor’s degree.
6. Is there anything you failed at? Any lessons learned?
There were times early on in my career where I was not an effective leader. I may have been a good manager but not a good leader. I learned quickly that these two words are not synonymous, and someone can be good at one and not the other. It was at that point I knew I wanted to be a leader.
7. Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as an HR leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you?
I have had many but the one that significantly stands out is my previous leader, Joyce McPhetres, who served as the CHRO at my previous place of employment. Her ability to approach each situation with empathy and understanding taught me how to problem solve more efficiently and effectively. She enabled me to be a better human being altogether.
8. What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as an HR leader? any resources you’d recommend to HR colleagues?
I keep my SHRM membership active and I try to stay active with local SHRM Chapters and attend and/or participate in as many learning opportunities as possible such as webinars, conferences, podcasts etc.
9. When you win HR Executive of the year soon, what song do you want playing when you walk up to the stage?
Hmm, great question. I have never really given this thought. I would have to say “We Will Rock You” by Queen. I feel like HR professionals ROCK it every day.
10. What books or podcasts would you recommend to your HR peers?
Anything by Cy Wakeman, Patrick Lencioni or Ken Blanchard
11. Finally, give us three words that you would use to describe the HR profession.
Evolving, Challenging, and Exciting
We’d like to thank Barbara for taking part in the HR Passion Series!
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