Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Project Social: Humane Resources

Once when I changed jobs my new manager asked me to set up 1:1 meetings with the rest of the team, to get to know them and let them get to know me.

One of these conversations stands out in my mind, partly because it was with a French colleague who spoke so beautifully that everything she said sounded elegant and wise. But it was her description of our manager that really stuck with me:

‘He’s a very humane manager.’

I’d never thought about managers being ‘humane’ before. I suppose if you’d asked me I’d have said a manager was good or bad but the term ‘humane’ seemed to denote something more worthwhile.

Last week I was telling my project social partner Dave Ryan that I feel saddened by job postings that say only employed people need apply. Last year was hard on a lot of good people who did nothing wrong. Those of us who were lucky enough to weather the storm should help those who weren’t so lucky, in part because it’s the humane thing to do.

Dave’s comment and current blog topic said it all: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

This doesn’t mean companies should hire less qualified people out of a misguided sense of compassion. It just means we should treat unemployed applicants as we would want to be treated in the same situation.

Of course, there’s more at stake here than how we behave in our daily dealings with others. There’s also the big picture, i.e., if companies keep shuffling around the same employed people, the economy won’t rebound. Fewer people will buy stuff. More companies will suffer losses and more jobs will be lost.

Maybe yours...

Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?


  1. Sometimes in life you have to take a stand on issues. I think this is one of those times. If you have someone in your organization who subscribes to the theroy that "all the good people are working" then YOU need to change them, be part of the solution.

    Laura you're the best blogger in the whole world!

  2. Thank you, Dave - I'm blushing! And right back at you.


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