Meet the Buffalo #HRCommunity! COVID-19 has no doubt been a challenging time for most HR professionals to navigate. I am so grateful to the amazing HR Community for showing up for each other and offering information and support. You all are the best! I want to introduce my network to some of my connections who rock and who are rocks for their organizations! Stay tuned for multiple posts in this series – all from HR pros practicing in different industries. If there’s anything I can help you with, please send me a message on LinkedIn or through the contact me area here on my blog.
Meet Kristen! We first met in 2016 when we attended a PHR focused professional development course at the Canisius College Center for Professional Development. It’s funny how you meet some of your best friends in life… I don’t think we would have ever crossed paths if we didn’t both attend the class! Kristen has so much awesome experience being an HR #DOO (department of one) where she is the go-to for her employee population. She is one of the most kind and optimistic people you will meet! Connect with Kristen and read on to learn more.
Hello! I’m Kristen! I’m a people focused HR professional who looks on the optimistic side of life. My family and friends are my core foundation. I love to meet new people and travel to anywhere warm!
Describe your current position and in what industry do you work
I currently work as an HR Generalist at Garland Technology, a company that focuses on network security.
How has COVID-19 impacted you the most?
The majority of our employees have transitioned to working from home. The impact has been the transition to remote work and balancing the temporary day to day environment. Before Covid-19, our company was engaged in a walking challenge. It has been helpful to continue the walking challenge and focus on health and wellness to reduce stress during this time. Garland also had a health coach teach about stress management. The great thing about our company is the immense support from the top down that gets us all through any challenging time.
What’s 1 thing you wished someone outside of HR understood about your job during this time?
That HR professionals handle a lot of stress behind the scenes. HR pros lead by example and put on a brave face to support their employees and the organization. Meanwhile, HR pros are multitasking to their max. We are problem solvers, counselors, career planners, detectives, and unofficial lawyers. In times like these, things change every day in regards to the law and the policies. I am very grateful to have an HR circle to lean on. We are all learning together, and making the best possible decisions for our company.
What are you doing to practice self-care?
I bought a Peloton around the holidays and I’ve been getting a lot of use out of it now. I have been enjoying the free workouts that are offered through some of the gyms and trainers that I follow. Organizing gives me peace of mind and lowers my stress so I’m tackling some projects around the house. I have also been doing more reading and baking.
What has been your favorite part of your HR career?
My HR career has been wonderfully challenging and highly rewarding. I am always learning, and I love that. It’s tough to pinpoint my favorite part, but I would say the chance to make people’s working lives better, even in a small way.
What is a word of advice or encouragement you’d give to other HR pros?
One of the wonderful things about HR is it is never boring! It is always growing and changing – compliance with new laws and regulations, employee expectations, and technology to name a few. Support each other and every day is a chance to learn something. Networking is key and vital for the HR community, especially now.
What can the HR community do to support/help you?
There is so much information out there right now, and it can change daily. I appreciate the HR community summing up the information to make it easier either on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. There are helpful podcasts (Punk Rock HR and The WFH Show) I’ve been listening to with tips and tricks to navigate during this unprecedented time. I have also enjoyed seeing on LinkedIn how HR professionals continue to make work fun and bring that culture to the remote environment. So please continue to share!
Share something fun about yourself
I LOVE Disney. I started my career there and still travel there once a year.