MIA’s Coretta Baker puts the human first in HR
This Employee Appreciation Day - celebrated every first Friday in March - we’re sharing a story about one MIA employee’s appreciation for his co-worker. As a Senior Personnel Specialist with the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Coretta Baker gets to interact with almost every one of her 1,400 co-workers in some way or another. Coretta is the helpful voice behind countless emails and phone calls that guide airport employees through Miami-Dade County’s FMLA (Family Leave of Absence) and LOA (Leave of Absence) policies and procedures.
Caring and assisting people come naturally to me. I really believe that you can’t take humanity out of human resources.
Coretta’s work usually stays behind the scenes, but when she went above and beyond to help an employee prepare for the birth of his child in another country, the new father wanted to make sure that Coretta’s kindness and compassion did not go unnoticed.
Last fall, Dennys Gonzalez, a Senior Property Manager with MDAD, emailed Coretta to start the process of requesting parental leave before the birth of his daughter in Panama. On top of completing all the necessary personnel forms and navigating the approval process, Dennys was hurriedly adjusting his travel arrangements when he found out Baby Elizabeth would be born sooner than expected.
Coretta and I had never met in person, but she suddenly became my guardian angel who graciously and patiently walked me through the process during a very stressful time for my family. Coretta was efficient, responsive, knowledgeable, assertive, and, above all, she maintained her sense of humanity while still complying with all the HR policies.
After many years of trying to have children, Dennys and his partner joyfully welcomed Elizabeth Marie Gonzalez to their family and are making the adjustment to parenthood (and less sleep!), thanks to Dennys’ new guardian angel.
Witnessing first-hand what my job can do and seeing the results materialize for co-workers like Dennys is one of the biggest satisfactions in my life. We all face various challenges and go through different emotions from one day to the next. I know that sometimes dealing with human resource matters can be challenging and stressful, which is why I make it my priority to remain positive and helpful to others, whatever their circumstances are.