I’ve worked in the HR industry since I was a kid. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that a lot of HR ladies are broke.
This observation is sweeping and obnoxious. It’s also accurate. It’s true across all ethnicities. Across all orientations. Children or not. Married or single. Young. Old. Somewhere in-between.
Nobody seems to have any money.
It’s heartbreaking to watch HR ladies do payroll — or run an open enrollment campaign — and know that they’re living paycheck to paycheck or not contributing to retirement.
Part of this is an American thing. Our savings rate is low. Our retirement system is stupid. Part of this is gender, as well. HR still skews female, underprivileged and underserved by the systems and policies we administer.
But part of this is just bad judgment. We are ambassadors for our employees. Shouldn’t we look out for ourselves?
That’s why I’m a big fan of financial wellness programs in the workplace. Money is such an emotional distraction, and if you work in HR, you can’t afford to be distracted.
Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard HR professionals engage in horizontal envy when it comes to another person’s paycheck or bonus. And I can’t tell you how many times a human resources leader was unsympathetic to another colleague’s financial troubles.
“If I can take care of my life on my salary, she should be able to manage her life. She needs Dave Ramsey.”
Instead of being judgy, let’s be productive. Look into financial wellness programs, which give people a chance to take control of their lives. Use them, too. If we get our houses in order and start taking care of ourselves, I think we’ll do a better job as HR pros.
So all of this is to tell you that I’m participating in a webinar on “financial wellness” with Tim Sackett. It’s tomorrow. Join or don’t join, I don’t care. Honestly, it makes little difference to me. (But maybe sign up. You might learn something.)
I just hope you check yourself if you think financial wellness sounds like one of those first-world maxims that HR consultants created to make you feel bad about yourself. If anything, it’s a benefits program that will help HR professionals succeed at life.
Finally. We deserve it.