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From the Desk of Yvonne Yancy, SPHR

ATLANTA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / August 15, 2018 / I was in middle school when my father gave me my first job, working for him at Zebra Corp, an industrial paint factory he founded. Working as a fill-in for a receptionist one summer, I got behind the scenes exposure to the business operations. Little did I know, the groundwork for my career in HR was being formed: what a business environment looks like, how to treat employees, and the effects of employee engagement on the bottom line. Looking back, I can recognize this as the moment in my life I knew I would work in HR.

I was born and raised in Atlanta, where my mother was an educator, teaching political science and history and, later, labor management at Georgia Tech. She was also a labor arbitrator, taking me along with her when she had cases. Experiencing the courtroom as a place where two sides had an equal opportunity to present a position taught me about union contracts, dispute resolution and employee rights.

At that stage of my life, I saw myself as a lead negotiator. And, my mother envisioned me following in her footsteps as a lawyer -- hence her hesitation when I declared a dream to work with people in a different way. I got my start in HR by studying employee relations, which I fully attribute to my exposure to arbitration.

I landed my first corporate job in 1996 as an HR generalist at GE Capital-Retail Financial Services in Atlanta. In my 20-year career, I've worked for several other Fortune 500 companies, including Ashland Inc., Lincoln Financial Group, Turner Broadcasting, SunTrust Bank, and the City of Atlanta. Everywhere I've been, I've encountered dedicated employees who wanted to be in a welcoming environment where they could do their best work. What I've learned from these people has shaped the way I lead.

I've learned you must meet people where they are in order to get them where you want them to go. It's easier to jump to what we want or need from someone instead of listening, learning, and connecting the business goals to the interest of the employee.

I've learned to raise my hand for the hard stuff. Finding new opportunities to launch something innovative or fix something that's broken is just as important as excelling in the role you are expected to perform. HR professionals are often given opportunities to move into lateral roles - always take this opportunity; enhance your knowledge and diversify your skill set.

I've learned HR is the key to an organization's success or failure. The C-suite will look to these trusted advisors to provide insight into business because they are communicating with every employee and can often spot organizational needs through these conversations. This is why HR professionals can't just "love people" - we also have to love the business and want to drive success.

About Yvonne Yancy:

Yancy holds an MBA in employee relations and a bachelor's degree in economics. Yancy currently serves on two boards of directors--one at WonderRoot, a progressive arts organization, and the other for the Central Outreach and Advocacy Center, which provides services to local homeless communities in Atlanta.


Hannah Gray

SOURCE: European News Daily