I recently found myself responding to a query on a LinkedIn forum. A newly appointed member of an HR team had been told that she could no longer socialise with colleagues as she was 'now in HR'. My response was along the lines of 'What?!!' Surely one of the characteristics of all good HR people is our personable nature, our approachable and friendly side that enables staff to feel comfortable in chatting to us? Take that away and the HR function will become distant, detached from staff issues and no longer able to perform to it's full effectiveness.
Move forward a few weeks.. and today it's the day of our staff Christmas meal. Will I be going? Will I be socialising? Too right I will!!
I will be enjoying a lovely meal with all my friends, mixing with everyone and enjoying the great atmosphere as we bring the working year to a close. That said - this year I find myself less inclined to be part of the extension to the party as everyone heads out to the local pubs and clubs. Why will I not be joining in that part of the Christmas revelry?
It's probably partly down to my increasing levels of grey hair that I find it not really much fun to be stood in a crammed, hot and noisy pub as I try to pay extortionate prices for a pint that will probably get knocked all over someone as I'm trying to drink it - whilst attempting to have a conversation by lip reading to attempt to guess what is being said!
Interestingly though - I do also know however that there IS a part of me that is saying it's wise to step out at this stage, and yes, it's because I am an HR manager with professional integrity that I must uphold.
What about you - what do you think? Does being an HR professional affect some of the social decisions you make?
Oh, and by the way.. Merry Christmas to you all!