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10 Quotes to Remind Us How Important HR is for Business Success

October 29, 2020

On the popular U.S. television series, The Office, Toby Flenderson is a human resources representative for the small business in Western Pennsylvania. He is often ridiculed by the branch manager because, as an HR rep, he must enforce rules and policies to help keep the office safe from injury and litigation, and he is also portrayed to be the most boring and uninteresting person in the office. However unlike the fictitious comedy show, not all human resources professionals are "a Toby." In fact, without human resources professionals, it is very likely that the organizational landscape would not be as successful.

Quotes to Remind Us How Important HR is for Business SuccessAs we've moved through the challenges of 2020, human resources professionals have taken on more stress and responsibility. Some have had to make difficult restructuring decisions in partnership with organizational leadership, and the move to remote working has added another layer of challenge and nuance to organizational culture. As we move toward a sense of recovery, human resources professionals will now be tasked with what's next in their organizations as they begin tapping into the large volume of candidates looking for work.

Despite all these challenges, my goal is to highlight the positive. Some of the main job tasks and responsibilities that fall under human resources include recruiting, hiring, employee development, succession planning, employee relations, payroll, benefits, training, and more. The list of quotes from well-known and respected individuals below hits several of these responsibilities and reminds us that good HR professionals are critical to the success of any thriving organization, especially during challenging timesEach facet of HR has its unique place and is important to the whole. Feel free to be inspired.

  1. “Nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.” - Lawrence Bossidy, Former COO of General Electric 

  2. “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” - Jim Collins, author of Good to Great 

  3. “Employees engage with employers and brand when they’re treated as humans.” - Meghan Biro, author and Founder of TalentCulture

  4. “I emphasize this – no matter how good or successful you are or how clever or crafty, your business and its future are in the hands of the people you hire.” - Akio Morita, Co-Founder of Sony 

  5. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” - Stephen R. Covey, educator, author, and businessman 

  6. “You cannot mandate productivity; you must provide the tools to let people become their best.” - Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple

  7. “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” - Red Adair, American Oil Well Firefighter and Innovator

  8. “Hire character. Train skill.” - Peter Schutz, former President and CEO of Porsche

  9. “Time spent on hiring is time well spent.” - Robert Half, Founder of Robert Half

  10. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady

Many of the quotes above are focused on people. That should be the take-home message here. The people that make up organizations and the level of character they possess is one of the best predictors of future organizational success. We should not forget that the department is called “HUMAN resources” for a reason. They are there to help find, develop, and enjoy the workplace with their colleagues. 

While the responsibility for hiring and developing individuals falls on HR professionals' shoulders, they also work closely with hiring managers, department heads, executives, vendors, partners, and other professionals to accomplish the goal of hiring the best people possible. They also help implement and reinforce competency models, recruiting apps, ATPs, online assessments, software, people skills, business acumen, and a ton of other tools to recruit, hire, and develop these professionals. 

We are all in this together. We may have branch managers that hate us, but that could be because they don’t understand us. The work we do matters and is vital to the success of our business. Keep up the good work, and remember how important you are 

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Trevor McGlochlin Trevor McGlochlin is a Research Consultant at PSI. He leads the Financial and Automotive verticals within R&D. He earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise include selection, employee turnover, organizational development, applied research, and statistical analyses. His analysis work is centered around validation, adverse impact, turnover analyses, assessment scoring, and other data analysis.