Human Resources. Human Relations. Human Renaissance?

I discovered that there was such a thing as “human resources”, especially a scourge called the “Human Resource Department” several years ago and came to loathe the phrase. Not long after that, I discovered the term “Human Capital” used by economists and that sat a lot better with me. Humans have a tendency to squander “resources” but tend to desire capital gains. Thereafter, “Labour Relations”, meaning how to create dependency mindsets, came by and now I see “Human Relations” bandied about.

Whatever we call it, those are just terms for the way we treat other people, whether we are in a large organization or small nimble “startups”, which term I am also beginning to steer clear of. Unfortunately, people also tend to be Stage One Thinkers, meaning very little to nil thinking, and start behaving like terms suggest. Thinking through things can be very hard work. Asking questions can get you killed with excess, highly superfluous work, and can retard your prospects for raises, promotions and those sorts of things. That’s why people stop thinking. Nations suffer because of that.

Well, since terms seem to be able to do that, how about thinking in terms of “Human Renaissance”? Continue that theme until something better comes along, and hopefully by the time that happens the term won’t be necessary. Merely changing terms won’t change the price of fish, but if it helps, why not?

We don’t need to use “Human Relations” to make our people feel better. Just show and tell people how to do stuff if they are facing difficulties getting things done. Use your powers to make physical space more ergonomic. Adjust workflow systems to help your people do their work successfully. People actually do desire to do great work, so HELP them DO great work! Need time off? I don’t remember ever having had any difficulty with that one! That’s because we used to chase our people OUT of the office when it looked like they had nothing to do. Send them for short, upgrading, genuinely USEFUL courses when those become available. Yes, there are times when your people actually have NOTHING to do, don’t lie. There are also times when they will need to work overtime for two weeks at a stretch, maybe more. If you say too much work, not enough people, you’ve either hired the wrong people or you made big, hairy, audacious promises to your customers and suddenly discover that your people won’t be able to deliver even if they go flat out a hundred and ten percent, as Hulk Hogan used to say. If you manage to survive that, ask for forgiveness, give your people a bonus, as in cash bonus, and time off to recover from the effects of your big mouth. Maybe hire people to cover the sales part of it for you, and make sure the new sales people that you do hire are well integrated with Operations, Production, Logistics, etc, you name it.

How about that? Human Renaissance, everyone?

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