Sunday, 10 August 2008

Thumbs down for HR jargon


   I just wanted to comment on article article on Management Issues.

"It is a phrase loved by HR people, but even the most jargon-friendly managers struggle with the term "human capital" and have little idea what it means."

So don't use it with them then!

There is a difference between HR terminology that we need to use between ourselves, because otherwise we are unable to effectively discuss important and often intangible elements of people management, and unnecessary jargon that we sometime mistakenly use with managers and employees - even when these involve the same words / terms.

Human capital is the only term we have that refers to the full range of attributes provided by employees to an organisation that provide the basis for meeting current business objectives and generating new business opportunities.

Our ability to manage people for the good of the organisation is compromised if we don't have access to this term.

Does it help to use this term with managers and employees?  Most often not, no.

However, I also think there is something to be said for the argument that organisations which really want to gain competitive advantage through their people will want their managers to have a sophisticated understanding of people management, and not just the HR function.  In this case, they will want their managers to understand the importance of human capital too.