Putting the “Human” in Human Resources

Spring Arbor career fair with (L-R) South Team Supervisor – Lara Hewson, Human Resources – Heidi Barber and Marketing Specialist – Emily Morgan.

The hiring, training and administration of employees is the foundation for human resources. For Heidi Barber, the position is an honor she doesn’t take lightly.

Throughout her career, Heidi has always been driven by the feeling of making a difference. Before coming to Highfields, Heidi was a teacher and a Human Resources Coordinator for various behavioral health organizations. She believed—and continues to believe—employees stay with a job when they feel worthy and valued as part of the team.

When Heidi first started at Highfields, she questioned, would I be able to foster positive relationships with an entire organization?

The answer is yes!

Heidi’s compassionate nature and ability to overcome challenges sets her apart from the rest, allowing her to effectively promote employee satisfaction and retention. Her strength in empathy helps her coordinate and support the work of recruiting, hiring and orientation, among other employee relations projects.

In addition, she follows-up with new employees after 15, 45 and 75 days to make sure each person is feeling good about their position. Heidi aspires to continue to follow-up with employees in order to keep communication open.

“My goal is to close the gap of communication with employees, and have an ongoing discussion of performance, as well as comfort within their position at Highfields,” said Heidi. “I have an open door and I am always willing to help when I can.”

Heidi is constantly educating herself about how to better engage employees and incorporate equity and inclusion across all policies and programs. She has a thirst for learning and doesn’t believe in giving anything less than 100% in everything that she does.

“From the moment I stepped on campus, I felt extremely welcomed and I try to do the same with everyone in the organization, both new and existing,” said Heidi. “In fact, on my very first day, when I arrived on campus to attend my own new hire orientation, I was greeted at the door by our, CEO, Brian Philson.”

Heidi’s mission is to engage with employees and make sure they’re continually appreciated and happy with where they work while providing good customer service. She believes wholeheartedly in making sure each and every person is doing well mentally and emotionally, while feeling comfortable enough to communicate and be heard.

“Creating an inclusive work environment is very important to me,” Heidi said.

“Being part of Highfields is like having an extended family. There is always kindness and compassion while striving for a better tomorrow,” said Heidi. “And my hope is to continue to prioritize the ‘human’ in Human Resources.”

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