What ever happened to the “HUMAN” in Human Resources?

We have been told that we can only improve on what we measure, right? So we decided to measure soft skills, as well as hard ones, in employees. Impossible? We love the impossible.

We measure hard skills. We measure soft skills. We base it all on the best science and business practices. We combine these to help improve job productivity and increase a company’s bottom line. 

Why do we do this? Because it’s time to bring the “human”  back to Human Resources, because innovation, creativity and resilience can’t happen without it. 

So why has this not been done before? Because it takes years of research to understand how to bring science and business together in a clear and easy way to apply in companies. Mostly, because it takes courageous leaders to see themselves and their teams like this for the very first time.

You know the most difficult thing about applying neuroscience to businesses?  The most challenging moment we have during our program is when a client realizes we have the ability to measure and identify the “inner wirings” of each of their employees, each individual’s, specific neuroscientific patterns of behavior and  how they affect their job output, their teams and their company’s bottom line.  Yes, we can measure the impact of each individual’s both soft and hard skills on company profits. Whoa. 

I have been studying the relationship between science and business for a long time. Coming from an economic and financial background, I thought measuring an employee’s productivity related to their hard skills was enough until I met my match. Science. 

It’s been fascinating to watch myself justifying how behavior is not measurable in a business setting, how its outcome is unpredictable and how hard data is the only thing that counts.  After all, Human Resources now a days is either all about contracts or required courses or wellness & feel good speeches, right?  The first aren’t human at all and the later have been reduced to trendy words that most often than not inspire employees for a whole 30 min and quickly fade away when the first problem arises. 

 This simplicity was easy to buy until my amazing business co-founders pointed out to me that science had never been correctly applied to business operations because no one knew how to measure it, analyze it and improve on it and that we needed to bring back the ¨human¨ part in Human Resources again. After all, business are handled by humans, aren’t they? 

So where should we start? I strongly believe that an increase in productivity, innovation and resilience cannot take place until leaders start giving neuroscience a try. We need to start understanding our decision patterns and how we process information as leaders and their effects on our deliverables, our profits, our teams.  

George Santayana said, ¨those who do not know history, are doomed to repeat it¨. In the same way, if we do not learn to recognize our own patterns of decision making, our own “inner wiring”,  we are doom to repeat it. If we want different results, we need to start understanding how we work and choose differently. 

By: Kirsten Jepsen

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