The Principles of Human Resources

There are many principles of Human Resources. Here are eight of them to understand and apply appropriately to make HR practices transparent and relevant for the future.

Principle #1: Recruitment to retirement.
HR is all about dealing with employees from recruitment to retirement. It includes manpower planning, selection, training and development, placement, wage and salary administration, promotion, transfer, separation, performance appraisal, grievance handling, welfare administration, job evaluation and merit rating, and exit interview. Precisely, it deals with planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling of people.

Principle #2: People (men) behind the machine count.
Previously, it was the machine behind the man that counted. Today, people are the real power to drive organizations forward. Machines only assist people. Ultimately, the machine is servant to men, not the other way around.

Principle #3: Hire for attitude, recruit for skills.
Attitude is the key to employee engagement and success. Hence, HR leaders must emphasize attitude rather than experience. It is better to hire a new job seeker with high attitude and no experience than one with a rotten attitude and years of experience. If employees possess a good attitude, they will have the ability absorb the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are essential to perform their tasks effectively in the workplace.

Principle #4: Appreciate attitude but respect intelligence.
It is true that both attitude and intelligence are essential to improve the organizational bottom line. If HR leaders find it is tough to get both, they should choose attitude over intelligence as it helps accomplish organizational goals and objectives.

Principle #5: Hire slow, fire fast.
HR leaders must be slow in hiring the right talent for their organizations. They must look for the right mindset, skill set, and tool set in job seekers during recruitment. If they find that bad apples entered into their basket, they must be removed quickly to contain further damage to their organizations.

Principle #6: Shed complexity, wed simplicity.
People today prefer to work in flat organizations rather than tall ones. Tall organizations often have hierarchies with a bureaucratic mindset that doesn’t work in the present context. Gen Yers are happy to work with partners rather than with bosses. So shed complexity and wed simplicity to achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness.

Principle #7: HR leaders are king and queen makers.
Presently, there is an impression globally that HR leaders are king and queen makers. They cannot become kings and queens. They are perceived as people who become ladders for others to climb to higher positions. It is due to the roles and responsibilities they undertake. HR leaders are masters of their trades, not jacks of other trades. They know everything about HR, but they don’t necessarily know much about other aspects in the organization. CEOs are masters in their own domains and jacks of other domains. They are masters in their areas and know something about others areas. Thus, HR leaders must acquire knowledge about other areas and acquire technical and business acumen to become kings and queens—the chief executives.

Principle #8: To serve is to lead and live.
Mahatma Gandhi once remarked, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” HR leaders must serve people with pleasure without any pressure. They must become torchbearers of human capital and knowledge. They must learn, unlearn, and relearn to stay relevant.

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