CCE Facilitator Interview: Cindy Bullock
For all things human resources, we turn to Cindy Bullock, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, who collaborates with us on programs like HR Essentials and SHRM Exam Prep. For more details about Cindy or to register for one of her classes, visit the CCE website.
Describe your own career path up to this point.
I have been in human resources (HR) for over 16 years, and have worked in both the private and public sector. I have always been an HR “generalist” with duties and responsibilities in all functional areas in which HR is responsible (such as talent acquisition, total rewards, performance management, employee relations, legal compliance, etc.). I started my career working in state government and after having worked in the healthcare industry as the Director of HR for a large dental organization, I transitioned back to state employment. I have served as the HR Director for the Indigent Defense Commission, the Department of Juvenile Justice and now the Virginia Department of Transportation. In this role, I provide strategic leadership to a dynamic team of over 100 HR professionals across the state of Virginia who support the 7,700 employees who “Keep Virginia Moving”.
When did you first start partnering with the CCE?
In the spring of 2017. I have enjoyed 2 full years working with the great team at the CCE. I have been impressed since day one with their passion and commitment to not only delivering great programs and courses, but also in providing a great experience for their facilitators. It is truly a pleasure partnering with them.
What do you enjoy most about teaching/facilitating?
Meeting so many wonderful people who share the same passion I have for business and the world of HR. I love having the opportunity to share my experiences in hopes of helping other professionals advance in their careers the same way I have had the good fortune of doing.
And as value added, I am constantly learning as well! The classroom is an excellent place for exchanging information, trends and perspectives – and those exchanges flow both ways.
How do you contribute to “transformational change” in the workplace?
I explain the “why”. HR plays a key role in change transformation, including ensuring that HR deliverables facilitate alignment between overall business strategy and employee performance. When employees understand why change is happening, why certain decisions are made, etc., they are less likely to resist change and more likely to be engaged and committed—a key requirement for reaching organizational goals. I constantly encourage leaders to explain the “why” and hold their own teams accountable for doing the same.
Describe a “light bulb” moment you’ve had on your personal career journey.
A “light bulb” moment for me was realizing that HR professionals are not always the most popular people in the room. We have to communicate messages that are not always well-received, say “no” more often than managers and employees prefer to hear, and make very tough decisions that can affect people’s livelihoods. It can often be uncomfortable. After a situation with a very disgruntled employee early on in my career, I reflected and realized that while I can’t control the actions and reactions of others, I can control mine. I made the commitment to focus on being competent in my field, professional in my actions, fair and consistent when making decisions; and to always — no matter the circumstances — treat others with dignity and respect. When at the end of the day I have done these things and am still unpopular, then I can l live with that because I know I have served my employer and its employees the way a good human resources professional should do.