How the terms Human Resources and Personnel are viewed by Employees, Companies, and Professionals, and the differences between UK and the US.
The Personality of Human Resources: What happened to Personnel?
Everyone talks about Human Resources with a frown – those people that try to keep the Company on the correct side of the Law. Always implementing yet more policies to stop you from getting on with your job. The ones you go to see when your work isn’t up to scratch.
It’s all about the legislation and making sure you toe the line.
Ask an employee what they think the difference is about Human Resources or Personnel and they can be seen as quite different personalities. Human Resources – the face of the Company, corporate, business orientated. Personnel – people, more staff orientated, more approachable.
Human Resources comes over as people as a use, a commodity, a resource.
Personnel sparks of people, individuals, real live living beings.
I can in no way buck the trend of the use of Human Resources. New terms like Human Capital and Human Services are now coming in which seem to move it even further from the personal touch.
I know HR is about more than just people management, and Personnel is a thing of the past, but we need to give it back a more people orientated feel. Development and working with employees, improving them to improve the Company – not just comply with the minimal to cover the Law.
Employees are not just a commodity they are the thing that can grow or limit a Company. How is your ‘Resource’ used? Let me know your comments below.
HR – Where did the people go?
Human Resources, Personnel, People Management – whatever you want to call it they are essentially the same thing – Wikipedia even has the same page yet the word ‘Personnel’ is purely a passing comment on the page.
Human Resources is listed as: “the name of the function within an organization charged with the overall responsibility for implementing strategies and policies relating to the management of individuals (i.e. the human resources) “ Ah! Simple – Strategies, Policies, People.
So not a means to stop a Company from functioning due to rules and legislation, or to stand up in front of a tribunal. You would be excused from thinking this was the purpose of HR. In SME’s the focus on HR can be even smaller, a sideline for someone in Admin to cope with on top of their usual duties, or for the owner to try to keep in touch with whilst running the Company.
The people aspect has gone – long gone is the Personnel department who dealt with that. Now it is too much about the Laws and Legislation and trying to stop the problems when they occur. The support and development of staff can all too easily be lost, which can lead to more problems in the long term. Under utilised staff, no development prospects, and no guidelines in place if something does go wrong.
Let’s bring back the people aspect, and support and develop them to save the possible long-term problems of tribunals and yet more work to comply.
Ah! People, Policies, Strategies – now that’s a better order.
What is your view on Human Resources and what their focus should be in a Company?