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This note is in response to Susan Meisinger's column entitled "A Call to Action."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Write To The Editor Reprints

I agree with your assessment in the column and applaud you for painting a real picture of how HR can become an important part of any business.

I guess I was somewhat lucky coming from an operations background able to read a Profit and Loss statement and needing to defend that statement to my District Manager on a monthly basis. I believe that was very helpful to me as I entered into HR; lucky enough to have had an almost successful 30 year career.

Susan, the advice you gave these two folks was spot on; they need to get engaged, learn how the company works and makes it money; it is not enough to be an employee advocate we have to balance fairness with helping our organizations maintain the bottom line.

What a refreshing read, thank you.

Joe Emory

Associate Relations Manager

Hot Topic Inc.

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Well written "rant" by Susan Meisinger.  

Truth is, the need for financial understanding of business is important across departments, not just HR.  

Cindy Stiff

Manager, Training and Development

State Board of Administration

Tallahassee, Fla.

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I just wanted to say that Susan Meisinger's article "A Call to Action" is spot on!  I've always felt that a strong HR Professional MUST understand the business, and cannot just be the employee advocate.  Too many people both within and outside the profession see HR as being there for the employees. 

Although we do need to be advocates for our employees, we must also be advocates for our business. 

We must understand what the issues are in our business, understand the financials (beyond understanding if we are making money or not), and be able to translate that information into the business of people.  

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We MUST be able to use metrics to show where we are adding value to the organization, and to understand where we can do more.

Like the two individuals mentioned in Sue's article -- Math is not my strong suit.  I prefer working with words as opposed to numbers -- but without a solid understanding of the numbers, the words will fall on deaf ears.   Thank you, HRE and Sue Meisinger for an excellent article!

Sarah Brus, SPHR

Senior HR Consultant

Agnesian Healthcare

Fond du Lac, Wisc.

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Good for you, Sue.  I couldn't agree with you more.  Perhaps the Letter to the Editor published in the March 2012 edition of HR Executive can help young HR professionals see how such business knowledge can be used to bring HR into the front seat.  

Jack Bucalo

Retired CHRO

Fiserv, Inc.

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