Remembering the “Human” in Human Resources


The profession that is called Human Resources can too often forget the most critical part of what they do.  Looking after people!  It is a profession that can be overrun with the pressures of process.  Recruitment, equal opportunity, remuneration, performance management, payroll are all examples of the processes that are required in any business when staff are employed, including small businesses.  


It is so important that you don’t lose sight of the most important thing about your staff.  They are people with their own weaknesses, strengths, goals and desires.  They will have their own life issues.  They could bring these issues from home to work.  They are likely to have a different temperament to you and different personalities.  Different things will stress them than would stress you.  Their diversity could be a huge asset or it could be a headache.  

While you have to be conscious of following the right processes, don’t get swamped down in them at the expense of treating your staff as people.

You have to select the right people, manage your expectations of them and not accept unacceptable behaviours.  If you do manage to get the right person, look after them.  Treat them with respect.  Show empathy and care for them.  

Remember your values.  Your staff will scrutinise your behaviours more than anyone.  

Remember you are human.  You don’t have to know everything and you will make mistakes.  Admit it to your staff when mistakes happen, as they will respect you for it.

Most of all you need to be yourself.  

Having other people working beside you and sharing in your business could be hugely rewarding.

By Bob Weir,  July 2018