I know the title seems like a repeat, but this is not a repeat, this is not a repeat, this is not a repeat…. Anyway now that i have your attention, and I hope I do, let me start.
H.R. Human Resource Department, I am sure most companies have them these days. I am not sure I agree with the concept though. Firstly looking at the word RESOURCE.
“A resource is any physical or virtual entity of limited availability that needs to be consumed to obtain a benefit from it.”
For a more descriptive and thorough definition go here
Does that sound like a human to you? Do you need to be consumed to provide a benefit to a company? How did we get here? That is a tough question to answer. I will offer my opinion. If one goes back only a few hundred years you will soon realise how quickly things have changed. Let’s take a look and see if we can uncover the reason we are here. By no means is this an exhaustive historical description, its but a cursory look over recent history to explain the point, so consider it light reading.
Early mankind was largely agricultural, since it was to sustain themselves and later others with the produce. Also basic construction to live in. So we can say it was on a need only basis that we produced.
In the late 18th to early 19th century we moved to the industrial age where manufacture and large quantities were becoming more normal. I suppose you could say we started moving away from need only and the start of a process I will discuss later.
We have since perfected that and we have moved into the current age which is called the information age. This age has brought about an element which largely supports the idea behind Human resource. That would be the word and process called Automation.
Anyway to cut a long story short and get to the point. As a collective culture, and I know I have not done the entire topic justice here, we have moved away from simple needs based living to a wants based lifestyle. I would even go on a limb here and say that right now our culture lives on a desire basis. We now don’t really care much for the actual products, but more for what they can give us. If it offers more for less, we only care about the ideas, because thats what sells……
So to get back to H.R. well at the back end of this idea based society, and industry run on automation. We have lost our sense of humanity and started to see each other as resources. A means to and end. We look at each other as a way to fulfill our wants and desires, and that is a company’s bottom line these days. Their wants and desires and we are the resources to help them achieve that.
Even the industrial age workers were still seen as “assets” and looked after accordingly. Now employees are seen as liabilities and are the first to go in times of difficulty. Because at the end of the day every employee is a resource and therefore replaceable.
I think we have lost it, we have lost our humanity. I hope we go back in history and learn where we have erred, but…….
“The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”
I know its not an upbeat end, but we really are in a sad place in terms of how we collectively relate to each other and I really do not see how we fix that without at least considering that maybe we are wrong…..