Reading Carl Rogers recently again after a few months an interesting idea came to mind:
HR is normally understood as the corporate acronym for Human Resources.
In fact, perhaps we should think of HR more as Human Relationships.
During my experience as an HR professional, I kept believing that my work will be complete when I will become obsolete.
Let me explain. Becoming obsolete as HR means that managers already know how to motivate, promote, recognize their people well enough on their own. Actually, what HR does is help managers build better human relationships.
Of course, it’s much easier to use instruments, processes, guidelines and evaluation forms. Because when you strip these off, what remains is an authentic relationship, based on principles and values. And it’s much more difficult and less predictable, isn’t it, to manage such a relationship.
What would it be like, to have corporate HR without forms, KBIs and evaluations?
To have your people follow you as a manager just because you are yourself?
And you would know anytime when one of your people needs more guidance and the other one needs more freedom.
The way you are, and the way you let yourself be, would become a reassurance that they can be themselves without fear. They would understand that they don’t need to feel threatened when someone else is promoted or receives a raise. They would see their career paths themselves, and show boldness in drawing their own lines. They would open up, authentically, and give feedback, to you as a manager and to those around them, and would accept feedback themselves, without taking it personally, because of course, they have no reason to fear.
If HR would behave more as Human Relationships rather than Human Resources, perhaps we could help managers build such constructive and deep relationships at work. But that would mean creating them first with ourselves.
And that is the hardest part.