Daily Observer (Jamaica)



Jamaica, as a nation, we proudly celebrate the 10th anniversar­y of October 8, 2023 as Human Resource Profession­al Day and Human Resource Management Week from October 8 – 13, 2023. This was declared by the Governor General of Jamaica in 2013. Our theme this year is Celebratin­g HR...THE Heart of the People. Human Resource Leaders, profession­als, and practition­ers, as keepers of the country’s greatest potential I celebrate you as strong, diverse, resilient individual­s who have gone beyond the calls of duty repeatedly as you have helped your organisati­ons to increase speed and strengthen resilience. Some may be wondering why celebrate HR?

HR is the heartbeat of the organisati­on that inspires, adds value to the organisati­on, the employer and the employee while encouragin­g employee engagement, boosting morale, building trust, creating positive work cultures, and building institutio­nal capabiliti­es. HR has made indelible, irreversib­le stamps on and in our organisati­ons, both in the past and the present.

We have grown over the years from being the Swiss knives in the workplaces: administra­tive personnel experts, employee champions, change experts, seated at the strategic table in the C-suite to having the privilege of being influentia­l voices on platforms in the public & private sectors and our communitie­s.

However, at this juncture, as we prepare to go into the future, HR cannot be content to once again be relegated to the back rooms of paper pushing and far away from the decisions that shape our workspaces, companies, and organisati­ons. For such a time like this, we have been called to further exert influence on the HR practices in every space: from private to public sector, from classrooms to sports arenas and from guardrooms to boardrooms. We must not, as HR leaders and profession­als, let fear and unconsciou­s bias stand in our way and destroy us, our people, and our nation. We must consciousl­y break barriers such as isolation, division, one-up-man-ship, crab in a barrel mentality, silos, manmade erected restricted access to each other and shape our future and transform our workspaces.

We must be prepared to fight step by step, inch by inch, mile by mile until victory is won. We must display the courage needed to step forward to own our stories and use our voices to transform our nation & our world by stripping our institutio­ns of the vestiges of colonial practices where our labour force is treated as replaceabl­e, disposable unwanted creatures. We are called to use our skills and competence­s of negotiatio­n, and concession to strengthen capabiliti­es and improve the lives of those we serve. We must go into the byways and edges and create equitable opportunit­ies for those on the margins of society that represent the pockets of vast untapped HR potential that need to be reskilled and upskilled into a resilient, diverse workforce.

Therefore , today as we celebrate we must celebrate knowing that if it is not us as leaders in the HR space, then who will rise to the task, if not now, the fierce urgency of now, when will it happen so that justice will roll like a never-ending stream and Jamaica will under God increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity and play her part in the advancemen­t of the welfare of the whole human race. It is up to us ladies and gentlemen. Over to you.

 ?? ?? Lois C.A. Walters, President
The Human Resource Management Associatio­n of Jamaica
Lois C.A. Walters, President The Human Resource Management Associatio­n of Jamaica

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