Thanks Is Better Than “Seat At Table”

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Some HR Pros aspire to have a seat-at-the-table.  That’s cool.  It’s a great ambition to have.

I’ve been at the table, I’ve been off the table, I’ve been at the kids-table (imagine Thanksgiving dinner but at work), so I know from where I speak. But there is one thing better than that seat and some of the real and perceived perks that go with it.  Perks like perceived control (none of us has this), better than real power, better than ego-rushes, better than money, better than un-warranted pandering, better than important strategy sessions (truly they are important), better than board-approval, and definitely better than all the negotiating that goes into proving “HR is a more than a cost-center Damn it!”, even when you get your budget approved.  Talk about a Purple Squirrel.

That one thing is unexpected, unsolicited, heartfelt, authentic “thanks” you and your HR team gets from a team member.  When you least expect it.  When you are wore out.  When you are not wore out.

Regarding the picture above:  A few days ago one of Daxko’s team members left a hand written note for our team and some Krispy Kremes (oh, yeah…).  He later came over and told us how much impact our team had on the lives of team members, the professional development of leaders, and the integration efforts we were a part of for a company we newly acquired.

I think I had a tear in my eye.  I will remember that note and box of donuts more than many of the interactions I had “at the table”.

A few take aways:

  • I regularly remind my team:  the work you do impacts people lives.  If you say and believe that mantra, you will live that mantra.
  • Tell people around you “thank you” often.  You can read lots of articles about sincere vs insincere thanks, over-thanking, yada, but let’s cut through that.  Let’s not overthink this.  When people tell you “thanks” it makes you feel good and makes you want to continue to work at a higher level.
  • HR really doesn’t have a lot of measurables– it’s true (that’s another blog post).  So honest “thanks” are a measure of success.

Most importantly, when you get a heartfelt thanks, it give us hope HR can be and should be a helpful partner and not the policy boogeyman.

If you need more “academic” fodder > Check this out.


(Oh — and thanks for reading this post)





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Dawn Hrdlica-Burke

VP People & Culture/ Talent Consulting at Kinetix. Advisor. Speaker. Writer.

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