Time To Have Human Back in Human Resources

“Human Resources.” When it comes to your career, those two words will ultimately influence whether you are hired or fired, have to relocate your family to move up or move out, and whether you receive a holiday bonus or that dreaded membership to the ?Jelly of the Month Club? a la Clark Griswold. If there?s one area within a company that should focus solely on the ?human? side of human resources, that should be it.

Big data and the perpetual pivot

But somewhere along the line everything started to change. Instead of seeing employees as people, some companies started to think of them purely as resources or commodities.

That might not sound too bad until you start to think about some of the other resources that are out there–coal? wind? water? machinery?

Don?t get me wrong, those are all great. I?m just not sure you?d want to be grouped in with them when the powers that be are making decisions that will directly impact you both professionally and personally.

Putting the ?human? back in human resources

Companies have to make tough choices. And some of those will undoubtedly involve their employees. When that happens, it?s critically important for both morale and talent retention to evaluate everyone on your team as individual contributors–not line items on a spreadsheet, percentages, or some predetermined dollar amount.

Instead of focusing solely on ?the numbers,? companies must take a more holistic approach to broader staffing issues by looking at 360 feedback, performance reviews, and the impact those changes will have on specific departments and the organization based on each individual.

The ills of human resources and the rise of the free agent workforce

Human resources needs to get back to what it was intended to be–an area dedicated to attracting and retaining the best employees by providing a healthy work environment, opportunities for career and professional growth, and a ?human? approach to the way organizations think about staffing. If and when that fails, employee morale usually isn?t too far behind.

We?re all free agents. Don?t let anyone tell you differently. In a corporate environment where employees are seen as resources, you have no choice but to think of yourself that way. If you?re lucky, you?ll avoid getting caught up in all of the layoffs and restructuring. In reality most employees are not much more than one performance review, bad boss, or corporate shakeup away from being shown the door.

Short-term fixes create long-term morale killers

Big data, the speed of information, and a ridiculously competitive global marketplace are forcing companies to pivot at the drop of a hat. Each economic downturn and dip in quarterly earnings has the potential to trigger a shockwave of headcount reductions and corporate restructuring that send hundreds if not thousands of employees into a tailspin.?Some of those who are let go are poor performers. I get that. But a lot of others aren?t.

Balancing ?human? capital and long-term outcomes

Appeasing anxious shareholders, reacting to unexpected dips in the economy, and managing the day-to-day personnel issues that arise at large companies can be taxing on even the best of human resource areas.

Organizations that ?get it?–those that are able to focus on the ?human? elements of staffing and balance those considerations with the short- and long-term goals of the business–are the ones who are doing what human resources was intended to do.

This article is written by Shawn Graham and appears on fastcompany.com .Shawn is a marketing and brand strategist for startups and small businesses.?



3 thoughts on “Time To Have Human Back in Human Resources

  1. I completely agree with the notion that Human Resources needs to get back to focusing on the employees as human rather than numbers. I am very fortunate to work for a global corporation that still values their employees and creates individual growth plans and actually follows through with them. My managers want me to succeed and grow because they know that it ultimately helps them and the company. Hard work does not go unnoticed and is often rewarded. Any strategic analyst will tell you that empowering the individual and providing a greater sense of worth will increase morale and production. Turnover rates drop, lost (sick) time decreases, and a natural “team” attitude develops when everyone knows that they are appreciated.

  2. hi…I wonder if someone could give some advice about my career….I am a graduate with Bsc in Math and Information Systems………I joined the army after my graduation and I have been posted to Human Resource Department of the army. Its about 4 years for me to be part of this department.I wonder should I necessary do another degree in Human Resource to get my career in line with my job experience or is there any other solution…….thanx

    1. It Will be good to pick up a PHR/ SPHR certification from SHRM so that you can integrate science of HR with real life HR work. Exp is the best teacher and you are getting it , just marry it with new practices and you can add tremendous value to your career & job.

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