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The Source

A New Employee Resource for Conflict Resolution

July 29, 2019

  • Helen Devol
    James McArthur

This month, Helen DeVol was promoted to human resources business partner. In this new role, Helen will serve as a resource for employees who need help communicating and/or resolving conflicts with their colleagues or managers. Helen’s new role is in addition to her duties as benefits analyst, and she will continue to assist employees with their benefit elections.

Learn more about Helen’s role in this Q&A:

For those of us not familiar with the role, can you please describe the primary function performed by an HR business partner?

Great question! Traditionally the HRBP is focused on enabling organizational and employee success. This position is a remarkable fit for our L&C community because I get to be your HR partner and help to remove obstacles that might be a barrier to getting your business completed. 

What are some of the reasons an employee might contact you to access this new resource?

Concerns come in all sorts of sizes and at all times of an employment lifecycle. Sometimes just bouncing an idea off of someone is helpful, other times there might be an urgent need for more elevated assistance. Whatever comes your way, please know that you have someone that you can talk to about options and opportunities for resolution. 

How does your role differ from what our Ombuds Office offers L&C employees?

Like our wonderful Ombuds, my role is also committed to supporting fair process and open communication, but unlike the Ombuds I am authorized to support investigations and provide a variety of logistical follow up for the problem we are resolving. Also remember that our Ombuds is a confidential and impartial resource for our whole community, but I will only be a resource for employee and employment related issues (not for students and parents).  

Helping employees understand their benefit plans is still a large part of your position. What strategies do you use to best to accomplish this?

My passion for benefits has certainly not dissipated and I will continue to answer your benefit related questions. While some of my administrative responsibilities might change, connecting with the employees at Lewis & Clark College is why I love my job. Your needs will always remain at the top of my list.  

Is there anything you would like to add? 

Addressing conflict in the workplace can sometimes involve difficult conversations, bring up uncomfortable feelings, or have unpredictable timelines. While I can’t remove those parts of the process, I am committed to compassionately facilitating through them.