Putting back the “Human” in Human Resources

12th November 2018

A recurrent theme that appeared across the talks and discussions around Human Resources at the recent CIPD annual conference, was bringing back humanity into companies, not only in HR departments but into whole businesses. It was a timely mention on International Stress Awareness Week, recognising the humanity of organisations and employees.


HR in the digital age

In the age of automation, the vending machine analogy by Psychologist John Amaechi arguing that people are treated like machines rang strongly with the audience. Also, the welcome keynote by Rachel Botsman focused on trust – an interesting choice of topic to start an HR conference!

Without getting into the obvious debate of man vs. machine, it is interesting to note that there is a desire from the profession to get back to basics and inject more human-centric approaches in a more and more tech-focused world. Making wellbeing part of the agenda, opening up mental health conversations in the workplace, caring for employees, building a culture of trust and celebrating the workforce were strong themes.

Employees are human

The CIPD’s new Profession Map, by including Employee Experience, demonstrated the move from siloing the employee efforts, participation, and journey in a company, to considering the individual as a whole, not only as an employee but as a individual with unique capabilities, needs, individual differences and … feelings.

A clear common thread is appearing. Within an evidence-based framework and methodologies, there is an obvious desire to bring back more humanity into businesses. If you’re looking at humanity and at individuals as whole, you then need to look at emotions. However, this wasn’t mentioned overtly, but this is the bottom line. How do you care about people’s emotions? How do you manage people’s emotions? How do you make your employees trust you? As an employer, how do you treat your people with humanity and respect their emotions?



Considering the role of emotions

These are very complex and case-by-case questions which need case-by-case answers. One of the problems when trying to understand people’s emotions without a robust and scientific toolkit is that you cannot truly get to the bottom of things and you generally stay on a superficial level. The result is making either shallow or no real change.

To really understand how your employees think and feel, you’ll need to look under the surface. There is not really any way around that, yet companies still rely on surveys and expect to get to the “truth”. This is simply not enough. To really bring back humanity and understand how employees truly feel, you’ll need to look at non-conscious, emotional responses.



We have helped numerous companies to understand the root cause of their issues thanks to our psychological expertise and bespoke tools. If you’re currently thinking of actually bringing back humanity into your business let’s have a chat!

Email us at nudge@innovationbubble.eu

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Author: Innovationbubble