Unless you work in HR, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what the Human Resources department actually does. For most of us, it’s the people who take care of our onboarding and paychecks and who we can go to with issues of discrimination and harassment. They’re the “human” part of the company – a friend. And everybody needs a friend.
A company is a pyramid. At the top you have the CEO and upper management, followed by middle management, with the general workforce making up the base (the biggest and widest part).
The goal of the company is to minimize costs and maximize profits. In most cases, the biggest “cost” is the base of the pyramid – the workforce (this is despite the fact that the CEO probably makes 300 times more than the average worker). To minimize the cost of labor (creepily referred to as HUMAN CAPITAL…), an employer provides the minimum needed to keep employees happy (or at the very least content) and, more importantly, productive.
Enter Human Resources. Employee facing HR acts as a friend within the company, an ally to lean on while navigating personal difficulties in the workplace. It’s the part of the company that looks out for us, protects us, and is there when we need it.
To the employer, Human Resources are, well, you and me.
In the eyes of the company, the role of the Human Resources department is to oversee…the Human Resources. Our time, energy, skills, and productivity are imperative to the success of the company. It’s far cheaper to retain an employee than to hire a replacement. Discrimination and unfair workplace lawsuits are expensive.
Most of all, HR is the “real human” part of the company. You might know who the CEO is but you sure as hell don’t get his contact information in your new hire packet. But you get someone from HR, who you can reach out to at any time. Like I said, a friend.
Human After All
After that somewhat dark first half I’ve got something that will hopefully cheer you up. It starts with the core idea behind Your Money Or Your Life:
You trade your life energy for money.
Life energy mostly refers to time, but can also apply to health, ambition, dedication, drive…the list goes on.
Or you can think of it as a resource that humans are born with.
We’re all tasked with different resources (at different degrees) in life – and yes, some people have more than others.
Think of things like health (well-being), access to education, money, safety nets (both family and society), skills, abilities, etc. Some of them we have the power to change – but we also need to realize that
- Resources are interconnected – it’s easier to have good health when you have money, it’s easier to have money when you start out with better access to education, etc.
- The ability to harness your human resources is dependent on your ability to be able to make the connection between the money you make and the resources that you either trade for that money or allow you the opportunity to make it.
Basically, you don’t know what you don’t know. Millions of people have never even heard of the book Your Money Or Your Life, and millions never will. Trillions will never read this little blog (because it’s the internet and the internet is PERMANENT!).
Maybe over time stumbling across an idea like this will be easier. I’m grateful every day I somehow managed to find this little piece of knowledge that spoke to me – I sure as hell didn’t read every single book or blog our there in my search for the meaning of it all. At the very least it’s motivated me to try to act as a human resource out there for others. A friend.
And a final thought on resources. Some people will take full advantage of the resources they are given and expand on them. Others will knowingly squander them away. Others will dream of having more. And others will never know a thing. We are human, after all.
Readers, did this article make you empowered or like a robot instead? :/
Image by arcadante at FreeDigitalPhotos.net