Think HBR

What’s in a name?

HR Management or let's call it People Support Management
There is often a degree of controversy involved when talking about Human Resource (HR) Management. Many people don’t understand what it means or what it covers. Indeed many HR professionals have trouble agreeing on what it is, what it does and how it adds value.
This article offers a new title for HR Management and new way of thinking about the associated Systems. It presents an overview of how by adopting this “new thinking” we can create a different approach to supporting the people who work in our businesses.
Traditionally HR Management encompasses systems design, support and facilitation related to such functions as:
• Workforce Planning
• People Engagement (Recruitment through to Separation)
• People Development (usually referred to as Performance Management)
• Training and Competency Management
• WHS and Welfare
• Succession Planning
• Employee Relations
• Industrial Relations
• Change Management
• Performance Reporting on the above
To many the term “Human Resource” supports the view that people are the same as other organisational resources; that they are chattels to be used and disposed of at will. What if we change our thinking and in place of “Human Resource Management” we consider substituting the term “People Support Management”. Think in terms of structuring Management Systems to ensure that people are supporting the business and people are supported by the business when making ALL decisions. The term can apply to all segments of business and if integrated would create a different mind-set to how we treat people and how they may react:
• From an Operational perspective – if we view people as “supporting” the operations, they would be considered as an asset, not a cost. We would be looking at people development, not just performance;
• From a Systems perspective – all management systems, not just HR systems would be developed to “support”, not get in the way of, people as they work;
• From a Built Environment perspective – the work and living environment would be designed and built to provide a workplace which is conducive to people “doing their best” in their efforts to support the business;
• From a Natural Environment perspective – the activities of the business would be aimed at supporting the sustainability of the world in which we live, ensuring a future for people and business.
A People Support focus ensures that the organisation has: the right people, in the right positions, in the right places, at the right time, doing the right things – once. It is also about enabling people to have the capacity / capability to do better tomorrow that which they did well today. At its most basic it is about having management systems that are focussed on ensuring that people are only doing the things that add value to the business (they are being effective) and that the things that they are doing, are being done well (that the business is efficient).
For further information contact Viamax Consulting Pty Ltd on
(02) 4966 1279, or visit
Max Geyer Max Geyer
Max Geyer established Viamax Consulting in 2008 with the aim of bringing over 35 years industry experience, in Systems Management and People Support Roles, to his interactions with Viamax clients, in order to help enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their businesses.