This month meet Carol Stevenson, PHR, SHRM-CP. She is a long-time PIHRA member and volunteer leader. Currently, she is a member of the PIHRA Inland Valley chapter. Carol works for El Encanto Healthcare & Habilitation as the HR Director. Let’s learn more about her.
Why did you choose the HR profession?
Interestingly, I was pursuing a career in Marketing but accidently fell into the HR profession. I was offered a great opportunity by my employer to pursue this profession and they agreed to financially support my education and training. I could not pass up the chance to train as an HR professional. So, I transferred my marketing skills to my new HR profession.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Culture transformation. Trying to change mindset and behaviors in an environment where management and employees were resistant to change and not being accountable.
What has been your greatest HR related accomplishment?
This may be an unorthodox response, but it is deeper than just the work that is expected of an HR professional. Several years ago, our company had a young employee who passed away unexpectedly due to medical complications. His roommates had a hard time releasing his body from the hospital as they were not related. If no family claimed his body, then he would be buried in a public cemetery. So, they turned to me asking for assistance. I contacted the employee’s estranged father only to be told that he did not want to have anything to do with this employee. He said he did not care where or how he was going to be buried. It broke my heart that this wonderful employee would be buried as a “nobody.” Being resourceful and after some diligent work, I found his aunt. She was not close to this employee but after exploring the situation and with a lot of “begging,” she agreed to contact the hospital and authorize them to release his body to his roommates. Together, a wonderful memorial service was organized. It was amazing to see how many people attended the service and to hear how much he had touched people’s lives. All the time I spent looking for a living relative was worth it. As an HR professional, we have to remind ourselves why we are in this profession. It is not only about the numbers, the strategies, the headcount or the turnover but also about the HEART and going the extra mile. This is why this was one of my greatest HR accomplishments.
What are your long term career goals?
To continue to challenge myself by learning new skills, technology and expanding my knowledge. I would also like to attain a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification in HR.
What has the PIHRA membership meant to you?
PIHRA has been the backbone to who I am today, both personally and professionally. Twenty-eight years ago I had absolutely no experience or background in human resources. However, being involved with PIHRA, both as a member and as a volunteer board member, I grew as a person and as an HR professional. Throughout the years of networking, I have met some fun and interesting HR professionals, some of whom were my mentors, some who coached me and along the way, I’ve created some lifelong friendships.
Do you recommend the PIHRA membership?
Yes, because of the value for the cost. The monthly meetings, the California Employment Law Update, the California HR Conference, the countless volunteer opportunities, access to the PIHRA Workplace, the HR community, online education and webinars and of course the networking opportunities.
Thank You for Being Part of Our Community
Once again, thank you for being part of the PIHRA community! Whether you’re a visitor, a subscriber, or a long-time member, your insight, perspective, and participation creates a richer HR community for us all. You really do make a difference.
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