Archive for September, 2010

The meaning of “Human Resource”….

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

How is “Human Resource” different from “Personnel” ? This understanding will help us to approach HR Management or Development differently from Personnel Management. Check the meaning of the term ‘resource’.. it refers to something useful and usable in a particular context, for a specific need or utility. For satisfying thirst we need drinking water. But all water cannot be seen as resource for quenching human thirst. If you are stuck on a deserted island surrounded by a sea or an ocean.. where there are no fresh water supplies then you can die of thirst after sometime! Why? Because sea water is not a “resource” for satisfying human thirst. So for being considered as a resource, something has to be available in a usable form .. it has to be useful to satisfy specifc needs. Personnel is a broad term. Its like saying “water”.. but all water may not be potable. Similarly all personnel may not be useful for an organisation in meeting its goals and for carrying out its mission.

Human Resource Management & Development has to be seen as a function that will acquire, deploy, develop and maintain human beings who are useful for the organisation while facilitating their optimum productivity and delivery of utility. The usefulness of these people have to be viewed in terms of the “Dharma” of their job-roles i.e., the true nature of the roles they have to perform in the organisation. So for a sales job, a person will be considered useful if s/he has the personality, attitude, communication, negotiation skills, interpersonal skills and product/industry/competetive knowledge required. A newcomer to the profession or the specific domain can also be considered as a resource if s/he has the ability and inclination to pick up the specific knowledge required and develop the other behavioural skills that are relevant. However the basic personality and attitude would be considered non-negotiable even at the starting point.

At the end of the day there are no good jobs and bad jobs .. just like there are no good staff and bad staff ( except in extreme cases). There are just RIGHT people or WRONG people for specific jobs and RIGHT jobs or WRONG jobs for specific people.

Sandeep Mukherjee