Human Resources – a department that is to serve as a resource for humans. But HR is losing its meaning over time. Today, HR professionals are the most people among any organization. Why is it so? Because there is a need to make (un)human resources more human.
The preliminary purpose of the human resources department in any organization is to advocate for employees and to assure that company is complying with all the laws, policies, and regulations. So, what gave HR the “bad” tag? Perhaps it’s to do with all the metrics, performance, efficiency, engagement, and output that the HR professionals talk about all the time. Corporations become dehumanized when they start measuring people’s potential with all those metrics.
In today’s era, we are so stunned with the glorification of being “busy” that we often fail to remember that companies are made up of humans. HR exists to serve employees and engage them with each other and with the company. But the purpose has faded over time and HR is now more into how to make the best use of the resources i.e. employees.
Deciphering the term – Human Resources
What do you think about the term – ‘Human Resources’? In spite of having the warm and affectionate word ‘human’ in it, considering people as “resources” is like herding cattle. No wonder corporations have become a flock of dehumanized machines.
Here’s what needs to be done to make human resources more human and less about resources:
Replacing Performance Management with Talent Management
The most dehumanizing thing that HR does is coming up with new and devilish ways in which they can improve employees’ “performance”. No matter how hard they try to improve people’s performance, they fail. Employees are not machines, they don’t perform, they do things and pretty amazing things, to be honest.
You cannot simply improve their efficiency by changing certain parts or replacing the oil. And how do we measure their performance again? By comparing them with company’s so-called expectations. We fail to notice what they do as we try too hard to compare how they did it compared to the expected outcome.
Considering employees as partners and not resources
If you want to establish an IT company that offers software as service, what would you do? “I will start hiring”, you say. You may require some software engineers to develop the software for you, you may need some marketing executives to promote your software and you may require software tester to make sure your software works fine. Once you have hired all of them, you can put up a company sign outside your office, you are a real company. Well, you are not a company is you are alone, you are a company only if all of you are together.
Redefining HR may require changing the way we look at job positions. We see people are interchangeable and let roles define the workplace. If you start hiring ANY engineer to make your software, and ANY tester to test the quality of your software, you end up making A software instead of making THE software.
If you do not change the current setting and do not bother about making human resources more human, you will be some mediocre company, making some mediocre things.