Have we lost the Human (touch) in Human Resources?

Human Resource

Who / What is this “Human” in Human Resources?

You, me, all of us? So, obviously I would want to dedicate this thought and my subsequent rants to all my fellow “human” resources.

A common definition for Resource would probably read – A resource would be a source / reserve / supply of something that is consumed / can be drawn on, to function effectively.

A similar definition of Human Resources would read – A set or collection of people who make a workforce of a company.

Think.

Are we OK to be labeled as “Resources” and “Human Resources” at that?

Add to this, you would normally hear headcount (thankfully, not body count), Compensation (for what, for damages / grief incurred?), Normalization, Low performing, High performing etc. You may also hear these words in a Circus (maybe not the normalization piece, yet).

Now Wonder.

You must have got the hang of where I am going with this, by now.

There is a larger shift in mindset, culture and thinking needed – to re-brand ourselves into something that justifies our intellect, value, dynamics, capability and package it accordingly (what we currently call Human Resources / HR and HR management).

I strongly feel that tagging this whole ecosystem as Human Resources only, relegates us to non human elements / objects and somehow also helps in dictating and / or typecasting the whole “user experience” for a normal human resource accordingly (devoid of emotions and all the other sensitive dynamics that differentiate logs from us)!

So what? Why should we even care?

Because only we can.

There is a gradual move in this direction and some companies are / have already replaced HR with Human Capital. A marginally better term? Maybe, maybe not.

Some smart chap could even come up with Human Infrastructure next!

One aspect is the branding or re-branding of this ecosystem. Another would be to revamp traditional HR functions so as to match with the next generation needs of the “workforce” (emotional, cognitive and intuitive).

I would love to see a People Architect, a People Tester and a People Debugger (in a radical thinking sort of way) which could probably be one way to look at an overhaul of sorts.

What do you think?

In closing, Roll this on your tongue and decide which feels better – Human Resources Head or a Chief People Officer? (not that I fancy either of these)

Footnotes:

Photograph: From pixabay by PixelAnarchy with CC0 (titled: Graffiti Berlin Humanity)

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