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Are you a resource, or a person?

Human Resources, an upsetting term.  Is this a quality problem? Who in the business industry, or should I say; what idiot, renamed the Personnel department, Human Resources?  A lump of coal is a resource!  A resource is a "thing" not an individual human being or "person".  Do you like being compared to a lump of coal?  Well that is what these businesses are comparing you to.

This is not a responsible approach to business activities, denigrating your coworkers, (yes coworkers, unless the owner does not do any work!) the minute they walk in the door.  Business owners may still be acting responsibly, but an awful lot of business management, ruined by business SCHOOLs, seem to have great disdain for their coworkers.

Craftsmen used to have apprentices.  These coworkers were provided with training, the business owner knowing, KNOWING, they were training their own competition, but also knowing they were benefiting society by training their replacements.  Do you think these craftsman thought of these future skilled laborers as lumps of coal  (clay maybe) ?  These apprentices were the business owners legacy to society.  Now that is responsible business.

Something that can be used for support or help: The local library is a valuable resource.


a. The body of persons employed by or active in an organization, business, or service.
b. (used with a pl. verb) Persons.

2. An administrative division of an organization concerned with the body of persons employed by or active in it and often acting as a liaison between different departments.

I like the second part of the personnel definition, it uses the word "concerned".

Personnel ? -- Human Resources ? Why the change?

Why the name change?  For me, I witnessed this in my first professional job in the mid 70's, the personnel department became the Human Resources department.  It is obvious why the change, it sounds "more important", BUT, it is less efficient, hey lets use two words when one was sufficient.  This is typical business management thinking, lets change the name and maybe things will improve!

Granted the scope of the department has expanded to some extent, but it still has the task of working with people, not COAL!

But unfortunately the business owners do think of their employee's as coal, and in fact coal (oil?) probably has more value to these "business" managers than do their coworkers (employee's?) !  Remember the apprentice, someone that if they did their job well, had tremendous value.  Not today, just a lump of coal, throw it away when you are done with it (burn it out first!).

So what has "Human Resources" done.

Believe it or not HR managers think they have fiduciary responsibility, they think they handle money, they like to handle money, everyone likes to handle money.  In a business the closer you are to the cash flow, the more you make, everybody in a company has fiduciary responsibility, but Personnel now has a Two word name, and better yet an acronym, HR, so it must be twice as responsible!

Unfortunately for me the name change itself is the true indicator of corporate direction, belittling the contribution of their coworkers, riding on their backs trying to minimize compensation and thereby boost corporate profits, (that fiduciary thing).  Leave the profits to the departments that make money, Research and Development, Manufacturing, and Sales.  R & D ??, yes they make serial number 1, manufacturing makes serial number 2 through XXXXX, and Sales sells them.  Sorry I lump purchasing, logistics, etc, into manufacturing, all necessary to make money.

Human Resources, wanting to be near the cash, begins to say look at all the money we spend on those lumps of coal.  Benefits, yuk!  Education, nah.

The only reasons some US corporations cannot compete is; they are not trying.

Well enough quality for today,









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BHT Created: 25 Jun 2005

BHT Revised: 03 Apr 2017


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