Human Resources or Human Relations?
By Tina Olivero
How many companies have a Department of Human Resources? What does that really mean anyway - does it mean that this department is responsible for human resources - resources necessary to build a company... and they happen to be human?
Where is the human element in that description, "Human Resources"? People aren't resources... they are people! People are certainly resourceful but they are not a resource. What do you think that label actually creates in an organization? "Umm excuse me sir, you're our greatest resource and we can't afford to lose you, so we'd like to give you a car, a cell phone and a lap-top to keep you in this position, oh and here's your stay-with-us bonus."
Do you think that's what people really want? It might last in the short term, but in the long term, what people really want is human relations not to be a human resource. When people are related, they are connected, they are in communication, they are relating to each other in meaningful ways, they are creating purpose, direction and goals and objectives not because they are a resource but because they are resourceful in being related!
Excellent "Human Relations" is what makes organizations run with power. Powerful human relations allows for powerful communications, and therefore powerful visions and powerful results. The way we relate to each other can make or break a company. When we relate to each other in a way that is negative, riddled with gossip, or is not based on trust and integrity, creates an organization that may be doomed to massive failures, miscommunications and time wasted - not to mention profit and results!
So what would it take to have a powerfully related company? First we need powerful leaders and visionaries who are not solely focused on profits and results but rather, they see things from the "bigger picture". They realize that companies are as powerful as their people - not their resources. This power comes from people being related, being in communication, and being an integral part of a network of success.
Let's take communication for example... Business is one great big network of people having conversations. Each conversation has the power to create a result. When we have people who are powerfully relating to each other we have powerful relations, powerful conversations and therefore powerful results. It's our human relations that drive companies - not our human resources!
When our leaders are related to all the team members there is nothing that cannot be created or resolved - because everything can be resolved in a conversation of relatedness. For example if I'm opinionated and righteous about my positions and I act like a bull in a china shop with my plans and goals, then I am doomed to segregate my team and act as a dictator. If I am always right, then others are always left wrong! What would it take to leave others empowered by allowing them to be right, or able to contribute their opinions, or contribute idea's and imaginative solutions to the total bottom line of operations?
Organizations of today are calling for a much higher order of business. The order of business that calls for open communication, open meetings and open contribution so that people are "related" as team members with purpose and contribution at the fore front. What about the possibility of each individual being a "leader" in their own right?
As we voyage into the unknown world of change, business and evolution, we are called to be bigger players than who we have been. We are called to learn and grow like never before. Ultimately this path of relatedness, communication and empowerment, betters us all! The companies that will succeed in the future will not only embrace our people as the drivers of our organizations, and allow each person to become "leaders-in-their-own-lives", but will provide a learning environment where communication and relatedness is essential!
All you have to do is think about it for a moment. The greatest memories of our lives come from those related conversations that we've had not only with clients, but with everyone around us! Who would you rather be, a human resource or a resourceful human? Choose!