The term “human resources” has been used to describe the people who work for an organisation for decades. However, in recent years, there has been a growing movement to replace the term with more human-centric language. Proponents argue that the term is outdated and does not accurately reflect the value and importance of employees. This article explores the case for retiring the term “human resources” and what actions HR professionals can take to facilitate the change.
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How to receive second-hand feedback
Anna is a confident senior leader with seven people reporting to her, and Jo, one of her direct reports, is a trusted colleague.
Last week, Jo asked Anna if they could have a chat about something “sensitive”. Anna agreed.
Here is their dialogue from the start of their meeting.
Anna: What sensitive issue would you like to discuss with me?
Jo: It’s about Jason. He has asked if I can share some feedback with you on his behalf, but he doesn’t feel comfortable telling you.
Anna: Why doesn’t Jason feel comfortable telling me whatever he wants you to say to me? As you know, I have an open-door policy, and anyone can give me feedback. I always tell everyone they can say to me whatever they like, and I will listen. I thought I had a good relationship with Jason, which is disappointing news. And he has been part of our team for nearly a year now. I can’t believe he can’t tell me what is wrong. What is it that he wants you to say to me?
Have you ever been in Anna, Jo or Jason’s position? All three are tricky, aren’t they?
How to use Collective Inquiry to take effective action
Collective Inquiry is the name I use for the process to help people manage complex challenges and identify practical actions they can apply to either resolve or lessen the impact of the challenge.
The process enables the collective wisdom of the participants to be surfaced, which builds trust and facilitates ownership of the eventual actions. Please give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments.
Collective Inquiry is summarised in the following seven steps, each of which are explained in more detail, below:
- Get the “right” people in the room
- Identify existing challenges and select the one that will create the most significant benefit if resolved or lessened
- Consider why the challenge exists
- Consider “what if...” scenarios and select the one that will have the most significant positive effect on the challenge
- Identify how you will bring your preferred “what if…” scenario to life
- Identify actions
- Take action
Continue reading How to use Collective Inquiry to take effective action
A counterintuitive plan for 2022
There are many names for what is described as The Great Resignation.
Michele Hunt from DreamMakers.Org calls it The Great Soul Searching. Employees are asking, “Is this organisation worthy of my commitment?” When the answer is, “No”, they are leaving (up to 50% of these folk are doing so even if they don’t have a job to go to). A record 3.98 million Americans per month quit their jobs in 2021, up from the previous record of 3.5 million per month in 2019. This figure does not include redundancies or people “sacked” from their job, and many other countries are experiencing a similar phenomenon.
Why do we continue to use the term, “human resources”?
Why, in 2022, do we continue to accept the terms “human resources”, “human capital” and “human assets”? The last time I checked, we are all human beings.
You may say, “They are only words and aren’t you getting a little too politically correct!” The fact is, words have meanings.
Continue reading Why do we continue to use the term, “human resources”?
Why pragmatic optimism matters
This is my 93yo mother. She lives in an aged care facility in Melbourne, Australia. We are currently in lockdown. This is only her 4th home she has ever lived in. She raised 11 children and has over 45 grand, great-grand and great-great-grandchildren.
Throughout her life, she has served her church, our schools, our sporting clubs, scouts and other community organisations. And she never drove a car. Last week, she was asked if she would give up her room, her home so that the centre could create an isolation unit should COVID19 enter the facility. She loves her current room, her home.
Please read more if you’d like to discover what she did.
You’re not going to like this message – go deep!
Over the past two days, I have invested 91 minutes watching Simon Sinek’s YouTube video “The Infinite Game: How to Lead in the 21st Century”. In truth, I have spent more than 91 minutes. I have paused the video, replayed parts, taken notes and asked questions.
I have already read the book. Twice. Given I am extremely busy with my clients and raising my five children in challenging times, why would I invest this time?
Continue reading You’re not going to like this message – go deep!
Now is NOT the time to be lazy
I have been with my business insurance broker for eight years. Recently, the brokerage changed owners and, as I discovered last Saturday, I had been assigned a new account manager.
The premium for one of my insurances is due next month. My “new” account manager sent me an email on Saturday morning. Here’s what the email said (names and specific details have been removed, to protect the innocent).
How to successfully work from home
February 2007 was when I first started working from home. At the time I had three children aged seven, four and two. Later that year my fourth child was born, and another was born in September 2010.
Since then, I have continued to work from home as my wife and I have raised our five children and I have successfully operated my business. I’ve learned what works, and what doesn’t work and below are 15 lessons for successfully working from home.
Successful people regularly report they are lifelong learners. I want to think that I am a lifelong learner too.
Shayne Elliott, CEO of the ANZ Bank recently shared in a LinkedIn video post that he is “#always learning“. In it, he speaks about a book that has provided great value over many years, Execution – The discipline of getting things done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. It is a terrific book and worth the read.
The ability to learn is essential for success. I argue that today, oxygen and learning are equally important for humans. Without them you are physically dead, or your career is dead. However, are followers tolerant of leaders who are learning? I’m not sure they are, which creates a significant problem for leaders.