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Making HR sexy

This week’s trend is expected to spark a few internal debates as well as comments at the end of the post as I blog about the tremendous amount of buzz about the name HR — a.k.a., human resources.

It’s important to begin with the definition of HR being one that centers on the tasks and function of “talent.” And while many human resource departments also take on regulations, labor relations, payroll, benefits and several other administrative areas, the real business value lies in HR’s talent-management role.

Many companies are no longer embracing the use of HR nor are they considering changing the name because it’s a “corporate tradition.” This is about as old and tired at the name itself! 

The fact of the matter is HR no longer blends into the newer work culture or the countless number of innovative companies springing up and investing bucket loads of capital to value people as people.

On the flip side, it is an enormous task to rename a human resources department whose function is to support everyone in the organization so they can achieve their goals and receive the proper amount of recognition for their efforts. The role is one that is taxing, with so much more involved than hiring and firing staff or assisting management to do so.

This week I was fortunate enough to spend the last hour of the day at the Volcom Active Sportswear headquarters, where the HR manager greeted me with a business card that listed her department as the “Volcom People’s Department.” The tone of the company’s culture was validated as the CEO of this highly praised public company skateboards down the hallway.

The culture is clearly about its people, which was consistently felt throughout every department and without an attempt to discount the belief. In fact, the ambience was so truly authentic, a feature film celebrating America’s first boarding company is attached to email sign-offs to spread what the company refers to as its “spiritually intoxicating” corporate philosophy.

Do you agree the time has come in hospitality for HR to be referred to as something inspiring? As a tribute to the trend, which I personally support, I leave you with a few ideas in case a name change is indeed on your horizon! 

  • Employee care and management (ECM department)
  • Talent management
  • People’s operations
  • Office of talent management
  • Internal relations
  • Talent team
  • Office of human capital
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