The reasons I get asked why I chose the Twitter handle @TheHCMGuy tend to fall into 3 buckets:
Until artificial intelligence constitutes a larger percentage of the workforce than us, I have to have me some “human” in my professional acronym. I even wrote about how, in the context of HR software companies, humans are often more important than the software itself. Granted, there are plenty of instances, such as manufacturing companies, where one could easily argue that the equipment, components and mechanical processes are actually more critical to the success of the business. However, there are already departments that manage those functions, and the skill sets required to do so don’t always translate to the proper management of humans. Besides, anyway you slice and dice your end product, you’re still going to need humans to make the right decisions that make it all possible.
As for the use of “people” versus “human,” while I do like the ring of People Management, the connotation of the word “human” reminds us that we need to treat and be treated as such. Simply consider how well the following sentences resonate side by side.
Besides, I’d rather treat a fellow team member humanely than peoply.
“Capital” can’t help but be subjected to a comparison to the more commonly used word whose overall term even found its way into my Hive Tech HR company name. (For the record, that makes me unwilling to rebrand twice, not hypocritical). While you may have your own inclination on which fits better, to remove the subjectivity let’s simply look at straight out definitions of the two.
There you have it. It boils down to the gut reaction you may have always had to the word resources, which is that it sounds too heavily weighted to the company. “Can be used when needed” is easily followed by and tossed to the curb when that’s no longer the case.
Now, when you treat someone like an “asset” (and you’re careful to maintain the -et), she’ll feel much more inclined to try to add “long term net worth” to the company.
What I’ll open with here is that by dropping off the term “management,” as in the case of HR, all we’ve really done is define what group we’re servicing, but not actually what action we’re supposed to do with them.
That in actuality is kind of a symbolic aspect of HR whereby the function can either be boiled down to tracking these human resources administratively, or basically leaving it up to those in charge to decide whether it’s up to them to actively take part in their success.
Luckily most companies have recognized emphatically that HR needs to be doing more with the organization’s humans than just tracking them as the move like cattle through the employee lifecycle.
That’s where management comes in, and what’s great about it the term is that it can mean so many different things. The HCM function can manage humans by facilitating/monitoring the traditional concept of management, as in supervisors, mentors, etc. They can help manage their interactions by facilitating the proper communication channels. They can manage how they find the company, assimilate into the company, enjoy the company while here, and successfully exit the company when the time comes. And lastly, they can do much of this by adding on a layer of technology to make the management easier and more effective. It can even be extended to management of humans by the digitalization of the workplace. That’s why the term management seems to fit best; you can’t effectively manage without technology and technology is meaningless without adequate management.
One last thing I’ll leave you with is that we’re not solely defined by our work. Even though I mostly use Twitter as a professional channel, I occasionally lapse into the personal. While HCM is traditionally used in the professional context, when you think about it, whether or not we’re managing employees or our family and friends, a good portion of our lives are spent managing the human capital around us. Humans want to be treated as assets whether it’s in the office, the baseball field, the home, or anywhere for that matter.
ABOUT JEREMY AND HIVE TECH HR
If you read this today, July 27th, 2016, join him at 3PM EST on SHRM’s #Nextchat. Link here: http://blog.shrm.org/blog/nextchat-improving-the-employee-experience-with-hr-tech (he actually borrowed the image from that chat for this blog post, because even though it looks nothing like him, it matches his enthusiasm for HCM).
And join him September 7th for an IHRIM webinar on navigating the HR Tech landscape.
Follow Jeremy @TheHCMGuy (duh, of course)
Follow Hive Tech @HiveTechHR