Tina Hamilton, founder & CEO of hireVision (an HR and hiring management firm) and a colleague of mine, asked the question, “Does the ‘human’ in Human Resources still exist?”
She’s worried about “the emotional element of HR. The empathetic approach to dealing with employees as living people versus machines that we control and maneuver to produce our goods and services.” Her concern is based on what she sees as “an epidemic of HR professionals being desensitized.”
Tina attributes part of this epidemic to the required attention to regulatory compliance and monitoring of a growing assortment of labor laws. Part of it also comes from years of HR downsizing and/or outsourcing with technology filling in the gaps. (Have an HR issue? Call the HR Hotline: press 1 for payroll … press 2 for employee benefits … press 3 for employee relations … )
It’s good that someone in HR is asking about the “human” element in human resources. I also think this question needs to be addressed at the executive level. After all, it’s the leadership of an organization that is ultimately responsible for its human resources, not just the HR staff.
If top management really cares about its employees, it will enable the HR staff and all managers to treat the company’s employees as humanly as possible – with dignity and respect for them as real people with real concerns, not unfeeling minions.