“Hey, Brenda in HR wants to see you”. This statement is commonly met with looks of derision, unpleasant groans and maybe a swear word thrown in for good measure. But who can blame them? After all HR is just there to tick the legal boxes and make sure the company isn’t going to get sued, anything ‘Brenda’ has to say to me can be put in an e-mail (that probably won’t be read).
Sounding familiar? It’s something I keep hearing time and time again regardless of age, career or country and it worries me. It’s gotten to the stage where I’ll say to my friends; “I work with HR” or “We supply to HR” always distancing myself and never saying “I’m in HR”. The reason I’m so sheepish to admit this is because all my friends have a HR horror story, right down to my housemate playing with playdough for 2 hours as a “think outside the box” activity.
Now, I want to know why this is the perception, I refuse to believe that Human Resources was put in place just to facilitate misery and time wasting; its purpose should be to offer the resources a human needs within an organisation. The perception of some is that Human Resources has become a quagmire of faceless-bureaucracy that avoids interaction with the workforce at all costs.
What I want to see is the return to capitalising on employee’s potential which is why I say Human Capital is the new Human Resources. It may be just a name shift, but there are many important things in a name. By changing the name it detaches from what is associated with HR and allows companies to get excited once again about capitalising a workforce’s talent and capability. Organisations want the most out of their people for several reasons, one being that they want a return on the investment they are making into employees but I also like to optimistically think that organisations want a sense of community and pride within the people that work there.
Human Capital is going back to the drawing board and starting fresh with the goals clear in mind. We want to optimise talent in organisations, this means seeing how engaged they are, how productive they are, is there room for their talents to be improved on or utilised somewhere else in the organisation? These are the questions we want to be asking, getting answers to and then doing something about!
Do you know what drives your employees?