The paradox of human as a resource

Team MBAtrek 02 Feb, 2021 Skill Development

Human beings, undoubtedly, are the very foundation on which the modern world is structured. No matter which idea or thoughts we are working upon, primarily the end receiver of the idea is certainly a human being.

Taking a deep look, it can be noticed to the best our capability is that in the mindless race of building upon our ideas and thoughts via exploiting the resources available to us, we as individuals, have started perceiving even Humans as a resource. It is very much visible in the form of a separate department as the so-called ‘Human Resource Department’ in reputed companies and organisations.

By very nature, a resource is meant for a certain use only. It has some utility. It is fundamentally finite in nature and is capable of performing only a certain function which makes it useful only for a few if not many dimensions of work. Therefore, in common parlance, we think of exploiting a resource to the best of its capability and utility.

A fundamentally wrong perception gets shaped in our day to day functioning when we associate human beings as a resource. Due to the excessing usage of the term ‘Human Resource’ we, at the very base, have become ignorant about the fallacy of this idea from its roots and the impact which it brings on employees. How about exploiting human resource? Does it sound morally correct? Certainly not.

A human, by the very nature, is a conscious being who is a repository of infinite possibilities. What makes a human so unique is its capability and cognitive capabilities to learn, understand, adapt, imagine and more importantly, if not less, give a tangible shape to its imagination. It is this capability that has helped humans to control and give a structure to the world in which we live at present.

In the corporate sector, you as a future executive must change the outlook of perceiving humans as a resource. Generally speaking, it is not always about recruiting the ‘best person to do a job, with the best capabilities and best skills’. You must remember that to err is human. This search for a perfectionist to do a particular work must be shunned. We as humans learn from our mistakes. In other words, it is fundamentally our distorted perception of looking at an individual as a potential resource that, unfortunately, drags us to the idea of exploiting the maximum out of that person for a particular work. This, as result, brings a lack of integrity for the work and in due course of time a sense of lack of interest for the work in the employee.

As a future executive, you must give up the old and regimented notion of considering human as ‘rational economic man’. It is due to this idea that humans are viewed from the binary approach of work and compensation. Indeed, the human factor goes missing. An employee is not just an employee. S(he) is a conscious being, for whom the things like the content of the job; the context of the job; the learning experience; the working experience; the forthcoming challenges; the freedom to handle the challenges; the work culture and a plethora of ideas come into the picture. If you pause and reflect, you can certainly, find out that the abovementioned aspects are human aspects. In other words, work and compensation are the two extreme ends of the spectrum there’s much more in between for you, as a future executive, to learn.

Gradually, as the culture and the demands of humans with time become more complex you will have to address the elephant in the room. It's time for you to penetrate deeper into what makes a human so unique. The age-old idea of human resource needs to take a back seat and begin fresh with considering humans an infinite possibility to develop her/him to the best of their capabilities

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