Putting the ‘human’ back in Human Resources

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” – Elbert Hubbard.

We can all agree that the advancement of technology has been a great aid in efficiency and productivity for many businesses, however, we should never forget the importance of people and the human side that technology cannot replace.


What is Human Resources (HR)?

A huge part of effective business management is in your HR management. Often when we hear the words “human resources”, your mind is drawn to stereotypical movie depictions of a department dealing with employee complaints. In reality, HR covers everything from the recruitment and selection stage to performance management and employee relations.


The Importance of Putting the ‘Human’ Back in Human Resources

People are what makes your business. It is important not to dismiss this fact amid progressing technologies. Right from the recruitment stage, the ‘human’ part is crucial. Software can easily sift through applicant’s qualifications; however, we have seen the increasing importance of skills and experience when it comes to selecting candidates. Only through speaking directly to prospective employees can make you gage on a true level if they will fit the role, something that a computer cannot determine.

When you have a genuine care for your employees, they become a valuable asset to your workplace. ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ includes the need that all people require a sense of love and belongingness. If your employees required something physical, such as a laptop, to complete their work, you would provide them with a laptop because it is a need that allows them to fulfil their job responsibilities. Psychological needs should be treated as no different. If it is required for them to fulfil their job role to its full potential, then you should ensure they are receiving the correct recognition. Sometimes people just want to know that they are being seen and their efforts are not going unnoticed.

More on recognition of your employees, you should also ensure your workplace is one where they feel motivated and can thrive. The psychological contract you create with your employees is what takes your business from being adequate to excellent. A physical contract binds workers to do a job in a set timescale; however, it does not determine the efforts that people put into their work. If you can inspire your employees and make the workplace somewhere, where they want to be rather than have to be when you create a higher engagement. Higher engagement leads to increased profitability as the workforce begins to make an extra effort for the company. From helping with tasks outside of their job role to staying on an extra 5 minutes to help a customer, these are the little endeavours that cannot be bought with a wage but rather a loyalty that is earned through respect.

Another way to boost motivation is by offering training and development. Employees sometimes resign, as they do not feel they have received the correct training to carry out their job and struggle to keep up with tasks. Regular training makes sure that all your staff are fully competent in their roles and supported by the company. It also teaches people to think. Machines do not have the answer to everything and some situations can only be resolved when employees analyse it and apply their knowledge. This again emphasises the importance of the people in the workplace. Remember to be open to conversations and suggestions from the staff. The beauty in having a range of people working for you is having a range of ideas, from all different areas of the workplace, who are very knowledgeable in their role. Take advantage of this and use mutual discussions with your employees to help the business grow. As well as training, offering development gives everyone in the workplace an opportunity to progress in the company. Those that enter their jobs at an entry-level may not necessarily be seeking a promotion, however, by showing an interest in them and believing they are capable, you can encourage them to ensure a long, happy career with you.

Treat people like humans and great things can happen.


ABL Recruitment team