The Day I Banned Human Resources

It's 2017, and I believe it is time to eliminate the term "human resources" of the vocabulary used in our organizations. It is...

It's 2017, and I believe it is time to eliminate the term "human resources" of the vocabulary used in our organizations. It is degrading to the human who, in my opinion, deserves much better.

Humans are not a raw material

Small anecdote. A few years ago, my company was a finalist in the "Employee Mobilization" category for a prestigious Quebec competition. Unfortunately, we did not win. Nothing too dramatic, except that I am still marked by the speech of the president of the successful enterprise. 
He compared his "human resources" to the raw material for his business. My 25-year-old little guy could not understand how business as a model to follow could dehumanize his employees. I do not know about you, but I, when I think of raw material, I see rock and wood.

Since then, the term "human resources" has been banned from our organization.

Why worry so much about words? Because words have an impact than we think. If teams want to give more importance to the human dimension, then I believe that it's the least bit of not comparing their employee's too little resources.

Human resources. Financial resources. Material resources...

The human is on the same level as the rest. Really? A resource is disposable and replaceable. It is a very reductive vision of people which is nevertheless the main reason for the success of the organizations. I prefer to see the human being at the center of the strategy with resources at his disposal to help him build great things.

So, what is the ideal term? There is not one answer to this question. You know very well, nobody wants to feel like a number. Now, between being a resource and a number, I see no difference.

With us, the "human resources" department has been renamed to "culture and organization." We work with people, people, people, colleagues, teams, families, and so on. For example, managers will not say that they lack resources on their team, but rather that they lack people. It's simple, is not it?

Does that solve all the problems? Of course not. However, this approach has the merit of showing how important the organization recognizes the importance of its employees. People often ask me where to start to create a corporate culture as strong as that of SOFT. I always say that it starts with intention.

Recognizing that humans are not a "resource," I think it is an excellent first step.

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