By: Christopher Orozco, Team Member Relations Manager

Every once in a while, we’ll get a visitor to our office with the question “Is this Human Resources?”  To which we kindly reply, “No, this is Team Member Relations, but we can still help you!”  After the initial confusion and shock wears off, all is good.  We understand; the term “human resources” has been used to describe how employers interact with their employees for years.  But that doesn’t mean anyone should have to settle for that.  A handy Google search yields many different definitions of “human resources.”  From Miriam-Webster, “a group of people who are able to do work.”  Also, “a department within an organization that deals with the people who work for that organization.”  Both sound pretty uncompelling and cold to me.  And to both, we say, “No thank you.”

First, isn’t life better when one has happy and fulfilling relationships?  Let’s start here, and we’ll return to this point later.

We did some soul searching as an organization within the last year, and we asked ourselves some tough questions as to who we are as an employer.  And some of the answers we were comfortable with, and there were some that we weren’t.  And that’s OK.  When we identify an area for improvement, that’s an opportunity for growth.  We want to be sure we have the courage to be honest with ourselves when we’re not living up to the standard we set, and then set out to make things right.  One of those questions involved the relationship we have with our team members.

When someone joins an organization, they’re putting an incredible amount of trust in that organization to provide a great livelihood for that employee and their family.  We understand every employee has a different dynamic outside of their professional duties.  We respect that, so first and foremost we want our team members to know we value them for who they are as a person.  We’re grateful for the gifts and the individuality each of them brings to the organization.  Our organization becomes that much more special with every person that joins us.

We also believe there’s unlimited potential in each person that joins our organization.  It’s on us as an employer to find ways to motivate and encourage that team member to break down any barriers that may be limiting their potential and then help them unleash it upon the organization.  And this is all a result of our culture, of how we do things.  Compassion, love, and kindness are investments that bring out the best in what life has to offer.  Our team members truly are the heart of our organization, so what better to way to connect with them than to extend compassion, love, and kindness, and provide them with a great place to support their livelihood and have fun while they’re doing it?  Creating unforgettable memories and good feelings for people are the most sustainable ways to create success for an organization.

So, with all of that in mind, we asked why we would refer to our team members as “resources?”  Sure, the word “human” is in there.  And yet the following word completely negates the human aspect of employment.  Again, “human resources” has been the buzzword to describe our field for years.  But why settle for that?  For our organization, everything starts with the relationships we build.  And we believe every successful relationship, both personal and professional, is built upon compassion, love, and kindness.  And we extend that to our team members, and then ask that they extend that to our guests.  We know the level of care and kindness we show to our team members is equivocal to the level of care and kindness they’ll show to our guests.  So in essence, as an employer and as a business, the experience we’re creating first starts with the experience for our team members.  And we take great pride in that.  Our work not only improves the lives of our team members and our guests, but it also extends to our community.  We take that seriously; an employer truly has the capacity to impact society.

From what I understand, the new buzzword for our field may be “human capital management.”  That doesn’t sound much better.  That doesn’t represent who we are as a company.  Personnel, HR, HCM.  To all of those, we respectfully say, “No thank you and goodbye.”

My hope is for this to at least begin a renewed discussion on the future of “HR.”  I’ve seen many employers use different terms to describe how they interact with their employees.  “Employee Experience,” that’s pretty cool!  “People Operations,” sounds good to me!  I hope professionals in our field will take another look at how they interact with their employees, and ask the question as to who they are as an employer, and how they want to define the relationship with their employees.  After all, isn’t life better when we have happy and fulfilling relationships?

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