Is it time to re-name “Human resources” department?

Few weeks ago, I received an email from a recruiter. The title of the email went like, “Need immediate .NET resources who can join in Blah Blah.. time”. The email kind of triggered many thoughts in my mind. Am I really a “resource”? Is that only what I stand for? If I put in all efforts in my team and company’s success, will I still be a resource for the company? and so on…

We have been hearing this word “Human resources” for a very long time now. One of the companies I worked for hired college students from a campus in huge numbers. Once these graduates would join the company, there was a separate department named “Resource management group” who would look into how to harness these resources for company business. I was one of those graduate resource. For a very long time, I had the kind of feeling which you would have on seeing a huge farm of humans in the movie Matrix. In this movie, the machines would harness these humans for their survival.

It’s a common term in traditional program management to address, people, computers, cubicles everything as resources.  “Is the project delayed? Ok, no problem, put 10 more resources and complete it quickly.” We may have heard or even been a part of such conversations.

But, are we really resources? I’m not. I’m not a machine or a chair or a white board. I’m human. I have feelings, thoughts, ideas, knowledge. I get motivated, I get happy, I get sad, I have ups and I have downs. I don’t just type code. I create things, that help others, makes their life easy, things that make difference.

A company is not made by how fascinating offices they have, or how many computers they have. The most important asset for a company is its people, without it’s people, there would be nothing. Many successful companies originated in someone’s basement.

Google has moved away from the word “Human resources”. They call it “People operations”. And we all know the efforts Google takes in taking care of it’s people. And we also know the care it’s people take in keeping Google such a successful company.

I believe people in any company deserve more respect, not just for the work they do, but also because we’re humans. The culture of mutual respect, drives ownership and belongingness. These values can drive any company to great heights.

Dattatraya Kale

Aspiring agile software craftsman, clean code, polyglot, in love with different programming paradigm. I am on a never-ending journey towards mastery of software.

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