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HR? People? Does it matter?
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With that said - let's get to it!
I got these questions the other day:
"What are you going to call your department? Why do you call it so many different things? Can not you agree on one name?"
She hit the nail on the head with that one.
It's hard to count the different names we are given. But does it matter? Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill here, but I think naming is important to some degree. And others do, too.
That's why we have seen people change their titles from HR to People last year. Usually, the rationale is that the renaming better reflects how the organization sees these things: People are not resources; they are people.
I, of course, agree with that. But I am so torn about calling myself a People Consultant when I usually refer to my roles as being in HR.
But let me get a word in edgewise. Yes, people are people, but they are also a resource. And a valuable resource. What is essential is not what we call ourselves; what is important is finding, valuing, and developing those resources.
But can people be considered resources, and is not that old-fashioned, some will say?
I would say no. In an ever-increasing remote work landscape, with more gig workers, robots, AI, and whatnot in our companies, we need to do a better job of planning, incentivizing, and managing outcomes.
And we get those by managing our resources. We need to take a holistic view of achieving the business outcomes we are looking for.
That means we need to look at all the ways we can achieve those outcomes and, therefore, our resources. And as I said, that now includes more than just people. So maybe it's time to drop the H in HR and talk more about resource development?
Does that mean we should treat people poorly? No, of course, it does not! But I think it's easy to rename HR to people without thinking it through, just following what everyone else is doing.
And maybe " people" is the right way to go, but perhaps we should also expand our ideas about the future of work and name ourselves accordingly.
What are your thoughts?