This article was first published here. Republished with permission.
Humanity is the reason why there is laughter and fun in the workplace, it can make a community out of strangers, spurring high engagement and reducing attrition.
However, of late, aside from automation, attention is given to performance and process metrics. Too much of these can take away the humanity in the organization.
This is the reason why we are embarking on a campaign #HRinHR to maintain balance and keep humanity in the organization, at least in human capital management.
HR in HR or Human Rights in Human Resources is an HR initiated program, conceptualized by yours truly, with the following end in mind:
- To promote good corporate citizenship by identifying and correcting management practices that may affect human rights of employees (internal due diligence process).
- To promote greater social good by ensuring community programs of the organization reduces social injustice (external due diligence process) and
- To inculcate a culture where humanity is celebrated. Humanity in the workplace is professional courtesy. And courtesy is respecting someone else’s’ human rights.
To illustrate the need for HR in HR, allow me to share this story:
A company outsourced its medical services to an independent clinic operator. One of the items they agreed upon is “no employee can be brought to a hospital without a family member or companion”.
So one day, an employee went to this clinic and sought medical help because of elevated BP. Employee requested to be brought to the hospital but the clinic invoked the agreement. The clinic though, advised operations that an employee needs to be brought to a hospital, needing a companion. But everyone is busy and leaving their work station can affect performance matrix.
The manager of the employee was off duty and already at home. Since none can or is willing to accompany the employee, he went back to the office to bring the employee to the hospital.
As a result of the delay, the concerned employee is now under life support for multiple rupture of veins.
Can you think of a better way to handle the example above? It’ll not take an Einstein to figure out the answer.
Respect for humanity is the key.
Here are common corporate practices, when aligned to HRinHR, can bring greater social good.
Final pay- expediting the release of separated and/or retired employees from more than 90 days to 20 to 60 days.
Wrong salary computation by payroll or time keeper- provide a buffer fund where affected employees can make cash advances, instead of waiting for the next cut-off to receive correction from the mistake committed by others.
I believe by celebrating humanity in HR management, we will not fall on the performance metrics trap and treat it as god.
I am not advocating inefficiency, neither keeping employees who are bringing down the company. But even in the exercise of management prerogatives, we can still respect the human rights of erring employees.
Do you have in mind a company practice or policy that potentially affect human rights? What corrective actions will you suggest?#
About the Author: Sonnie Santos founded Learning and Organization Development Institute, Inc. (LODI, Inc.). He is also one of the expert partners of Family Zone of Australia for digital citizenship and cyber wellness. An experienced executive on corporate branding, people and culture development; and award winning advocate for Digital Rights and Accountability. He is also in the forefront of mentoring and leadership development of the next generation of HR professionals and co-founded Blogwatch in 2009. Thru this initiative, bloggers’ voice was heard in conversations relative to national interest.