Kyle Jones is a Human Resources Leader with 15+ years’ supervisory/human resource management experience in the telecommunications industry. He is an active SHRM volunteer currently serving as the Social Media Director for the Pine Belt Human Resources Association and as the Co-Social Media Director for the Mississippi SHRM State Council.
When Kyle is not working in his two volunteer roles, he spends time writing articles for his blog and other online publications. An advocate for social media, Kyle encourages others to write and harness the positive power that effective use of social media can bring.
1A. Most job postings cite “X” years of relevant work experience and specific education criteria as requirements to be considered for the position. With this in mind, what prior work experiences and degrees/certifications/training helped prepare you for your current role?
Education is important. I love being able to participate in the learning experience regardless if I am the student or the teacher. In the early 1990s I was unsure of the path I should take and didn’t complete my degree. Do I regret this in 2014? Of course. As I said, education is important, but something of equal importance is a person’s job performance and character.
I was hired as a Customer Service Representative when I began my job at Cellular One in 1996. Before that job and during college, I worked for the Covington County School District in various roles before ending my tenure. My final role was as a Computer Lab Coordinator at Collins Middle School.
During my time with Cellular One – and as MegaGate Broadband since changing the company name in 2003 – I have been: Customer Service Representative, Customer Service Team Leader, Customer Service Administrative Assistant to Director of Customer Service, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Internet Support Supervisor, Executive Assistant to Executive Management Team, and Human Resources Manager.
The list is long but it has provided an invaluable skillset. I was able to demonstrate my skills and abilities through hard work and dedication.
1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?
I often say that I was born out of time. If I were just starting college in 2014 instead of 1991 I would have majored in graphic design, public relations, etc. Most notably – computer graphics. I would like to further my knowledge on the subject.
2. Some jobs require the incumbent to be very analytical. Others require one to be a strong communicator, and others still require traits like patience, the ability to multitask, self-directedness, comfort with ambiguity, and exceptional attention to detail. Are there any behaviors and/or attributes that you would say are essential to performing the work that you do?
I immediately thought of two: flexibility and trust.
I work in a company of less than 50 employees and have made the following statement over the years: The good thing about us is we are a small company, but the bad thing about us is we are a small company. This statement carries more impact when spoken than it does in written form but the meaning is still there.
Does this mean I didn’t like the environment of a small company? No. This was my way of recognizing that there are pros-and-cons of being in a small company environment just as there is a different set for those in larger. The important factor to remember is flexibility. I would never say to my three bosses that this or that wasn’t my job. My job is to do my best at whatever I’m doing. If that means being flexible and helping with accounting and collections while also being HR, so be it. If that means being the designated writer/editor of the majority of the customer correspondence, so be it. If that means I must be flexible, so be it.
The other word was trust. One would think that the HR role requires a level of trust. I would agree and assume that anyone who cannot maintain trust would not succeed in HR. Being a one-man HR department means that there is no departmentalization of information. It’s just me. It is me who the owners come to see regarding HR issues. It is me to whom the employees turn for answers. It is..me. My parents taught me the importance of doing a good job and the power applied to a person’s name based on their works – basically you are the work you do. That is your reputation. I have always strived to achieve this and being trustworthy is a vital part.
3. Jobs guru Lou Adler says there are only 4 job types of jobs in the world (producers, improvers, builders, and thinkers). Which type of job are you in?
My job, on any given day, might incorporate any and/or all of the above. I filled the builders role when I worked with our VP of Customer Services to create a quality assurance/customer satisfaction in-call monitoring program for our (then) Cellular One call center. (On a side note, that project was one of my favorites. I enjoyed being the person behind “this call may be monitored for quality assurance” and being the person grading the calls.). I am a producer by completing payroll, employee paperwork, etc. I was a producer when I assumed the Accounting & Collections duties. I was a thinker when I embraced social media and began creating company social sites, etc. (I had no idea in 2007/2008 that social media would impact my professional career as it does in 2014.) I was and am an improver.
The best part of my job? It has and continues to showcase different aspects of who I am as a professional.
4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?
I’ve ranged from managing teams to managing one person. While I currently directly manage one person, I indirectly manage by being the default “go-to” person when in need and in the absence of company owners.
5. How does what you do impact the business? Think complexity (different types of impacts) and scale (degree of impact). Put another way: Who and what would be impacted if your job wasn’t being done well, and why would it matter that they were impacted?
How do I impact the business? I am responsible for one of the most important functions – payroll. If payroll isn’t done, employees don’t get paid. It’s that simple but, just as it may be simple, it is important. I provide impact based on my tenure. Need help with a seldomly asked question about our billing system? Need your customer letter written/proofed? Need help with your computer? Need supplies ordered?
My hats are many and I would imagine that there would be some who might say “those things are not your job.” And, guess what? They would be right. Those could be included in the other duties category but I don’t put them there. For me, my job is to do what is needed to help ensure that the company is a success.
6. What would you be doing if you were not working in your current job or if you were not with your current company?
This isn’t a question I often consider answering because of my loyalty to my job, the company and – more specifically – to the company owners. I’m proud to say that I will be celebrating my 18th anniversary as an employee on June 05, 2014. Eighteen years is a long time and something not many in my generation can list as an accomplishment.
What would I be doing if I wasn’t with my current company and in my current job? How about what would be a job tailor made for me? This job would be one where I could work with the company’s human resources, public relations, and marketing departments. I would like to create/discover/implement solutions/tools that provide companies with tools to increase employee communication, morale, and productivity. I would like to continue to write and begin speaking at events. I would like to use the knowledge that I’ve gained thanks to my role as part of the Mississippi SHRM State Council to provide social media education.
I could continue but I’ll summarize instead. Of course, I want to pay my bills so money is always a factor as it is for everyone; however, the tailor made job for me can be summarized in just one sentence.
When all is said and done, I want to make a difference.
7. Is there anything I missed that people should know about your job? Is there anything else you want to say about what you do?
I think you’ve covered everything. I would like to thank you for including me in your spotlight series. For anyone reading, I encourage you to find enjoyment in your work. They say work isn’t fun but I disagree. You can find enjoyment – fulfillment – in anything if you seek to find the positive.
Your questions took me on a journey down memory lane. So, in closing and appropriate for those of you who know me or you are familiar with my writing, I end with a quote from Doctor Who. It comes from The Time of The Doctor and was originally broadcast on December 25, 2013.
We all change. When you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all people that you used to be.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.