Can We Talk About People Please?
Today started with a business leader on breakfast TV talking of how they had ‘tidied up’ a subsidiary that had made losses. There was something almost Hitlerian about this – part of this tidying up would have been restructuring and redundancies. That’s people – their expectations and ambitions, their commitments and responsibilities – being cleared away in the tidying up.
Then there were a couple of recruitment commentators in my timeline promoting the fact that more businesses were talking about increasing their use of flexible resources in the next 3 months. That’s people they’re talking about, now a flexible resource. People with dependants and responsibilities, plans and hopes, expectations and ambitions, people with full time commitments but now getting part time, flexible income.
The language of business seems seriously skewed at the moment. It’s depersonalising and dehumanising jobs, driving a race to the bottom for the value and self-worth of those who do the work. And it’s self-defeating as those with precarious incomes live precarious lives, which benefits no-one in the long run.
Tomorrow I’ll be joining a bunch of fine HR folk in London for the 5th ConnectingHR unconference. The topic is Brave HR.
Maybe re-humanising and re-personalising the language of business would be a brave start.
(Image courtesy of Lessons From Fantasy)