Musing on HR, Humanity, Employees and Customers

Human capital or human resources?  Investing in your career.

I cringed the first time I saw an office door labeled Human Capital. What is that?” I asked – “Oh that used to be HR – but this is much better.” Well I discovered that it is a way of thinking that “perceives people as assets whose current value can be measured and whose future value can be enhanced through investment.”

That’s people we are talking about. Human beings like you and me. Do you want to be thought of as an asset? Didn’t the Civil War sort that out?

Sure you’d like your future to be invested in – but what about your value-to-you? Is that the same as your value to the HumCap spreadsheet wizzes? Does your value-to-you matter to “them”?

I do hope that your employer is considering your ambitions and passions as they evaluate your future worth to them. (Employers take note) Because unless you are fully on-board (ironically used biz term) with the investment plan, no amount of their expenditure will make it work.

Most larger businesses run employee training sessions that do check the investment box, but may or may not lead to enhancement of an individual attendee’s value. Do the capital managers automatically assume that sending you to a workshop has increased your value? I am sure they have a metric for it.

On the plus side, at least an employee is handled under the rubric “Human” unlike the poor customer who gets “Client Service.” Clearly the customer does not get treated as a human.

I know, I know. I should get out more.