Help me put the “human” back in human resource (HR).

Yesterday a colleague sent me a video clip on putting the “human” back into human resources. The message struck a chord with me and I felt compelled to share. It discussed the importance of infusing humanity back into the workforce. This isn’t just a job for HR, this is a job for all of us. Treating our employees humanly encompasses three things; the need to be appreciated, the need to belong and the need to feel like you’re making a meaningful contribution.


With the message of this video still swirling in my head I had another experience that seemed related. I was exiting off I-5 to go home. At the end of the off ramp sat a panhandler in a wheel chair with a canopy covering his head. He held a sign and had an American flag on his wheelchair. I found myself feeling uncomfortable and avoided making eye contact with the man. My daughter called out from the back seat, “why am I not in there?” I was taken aback. She probably thought his wheel chair with a hood looked like her stroller and she wondered why she wasn’t in her stroller! For once, I was speechless. I didn’t know how to respond to her. Then she asked, “why does he have a flag?” Again, I didn’t know how to respond. More than likely he was a veteran but how was I going to start explaining that to a 3 year old? I’m ashamed to say I was thankful the light turned green just then and we proceeded on.


Without making any judgments on what I should’ve done or said in this situation, I asked myself if I’m treating those I interact with humanly. I feel I succeed many times but I know I have a lot of work to do. I am challenging myself to find ways daily to appreciate those I work with and interact with, to find ways of showing I care that those I work with are a part of Oregon state government’s workforce, and to think not only about how I can make a meaningful contribution but also recognize and acknowledge when someone else does. What can you do to put the human back in our human resources? Our most prized asset? Let’s work together to bring on this culture in our workforce.


Here is the video if you’re interested. It’s just shy of 10 minutes and worth the time investment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s