HR Professionals as Mechanics not Production Line Workers

Original caption "Colored mechanic, motor...
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To be effective, an HR professional should think of themselves as a mechanic for the organization’s people.  Their role is one of periodic maintenance, and ensuring that all the parts have what they need in order to run at an optimal efficiency.  From time to time parts need to be replaced, but a good mechanic knows to use only the finest quality parts (rebuilt or new) as replacements.  It is a role of problem solving.  A mechanic always sees each part as unique and values it for the parts role in relation to all other components.  Most importantly, a mechanic knows you cannot ignore parts just because they are functioning well and only pay attention to when things are broken.

Conversely, a production line worker is focused on one unique aspect of the big picture.  All decisions are made based on the one component in isolation.  Someone else takes care of the maintenance.  Someone else is concerned with the end product.  Their role is to do their job to the best of their abilities and not worry about what anyone is working on.

Which one is your HR department?

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