There has been a trend over recent years to move away from the title of Human Resources Manager to Manager People and Culture. While we might debate the use of the word ‘manager’ and what this implies, understanding why the shift from the phrase ‘human resource’ to ‘people and culture’ is an interesting revelation.

Recently I was performing a human resource management role, stepping in for the incumbent for a period of time. I observed one group of HR Consultants going about their business, all quite competently focused on their business driver – transactional processing. While elements of ‘consultancy’ were occurring these were more to do with answering questions in response to ‘transactional’ needs, such as when positions would be filled and what salary and allowances would be paid.

In contrast I observed another group of HR Consultants dealing with a different set of employees. This group took a much more people focused approach, looking holistically at an individual employee and their workplace needs as well as dealing with transactional issues.

The contrast between these two groups of HR Consultants wasn’t just coincidence or about how they were led, but more about how the systems were set up around the two different sets of employees they managed. Both sets of employees were being dealt with effectively, but those receiving the people focused approach were without doubt receiving a much more satisfying and satisfactory service.

When I thought about these two groups of consultants, the first really was dealing with a resource, that resource being humans (to put it bluntly). The second group was instead putting the people first, treating each employee as an individual, identifying their needs and treating them as people, while also performing necessary transactions.

Jesus does not deal with people in a transactional way. Jesus wants to know each of us personally and meet each of our needs. In the book of Matthew he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (11:28)

Human resource or people and culture? These might only be titles but which approach is better?