Human relations theory of management began its development in the early 1930's. It emerged at a time when employees were considered very much 'cogs in a wheel' rather than human beings. Today, it has become and integral part of most businesses.
New governance models and codes around the world are trying to shift towards this theory, focusing directly to try and make it more human centric rather than on processes and controls.
There is a relationship between governance and human relations theory and they become interconnected when we consider that organisations are just groups of human beings. An organisation or business, which is focused on internal and external collaboration style practices, demonstrates a more modern approach to governance and alignment with human relations theory.
It is well evidenced that people desire to be part of a supportive team that facilitates development and growth. This is connected with feelings of belonging and purpose. Therefore, if employees are truly accepted and respected and are encouraged to participate, they perceive their work as having significance and are motivated to be more productive, resulting in high-quality work.
A human relations-centric approach to management and business requires a special skill set on the part of employers, specifically the leadership. To effectively carry out a human relations-focused workplace culture, five skills are essential:
Courage: Research emerging around the world is suggesting that courage is the most important skill and has become essential for all of us especially during Covid-19 whether it's the directors of the organisation or the employees. Supporting a person to be aware of where they sit with their emotions in order to stand up, speak out or express their views. Courage enables an individual to feel liberated and supports well being, especially when leadership promotes vulnerability.
Vulnerability: According to Brene Brown "Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change." Never has there probably being more need for both creativity and innovation. It's very challenging for leadership to demonstrate vulnerability, but it's so important not to run away from it. When we as humans realise how vulnerable we can be, it shows how strong we are.
Compassion: Compassion is the most tender yet powerful emotion we can have as human beings both with ourselves and towards others. It is only possible for us to share kindness and compassion with others if we have it for ourselves. When we are connected with our core being, values and purpose, only then we can share the same unconditionally with others.
Ethical Intelligence: Is the ability to open up a non reactive space within us from which we can respond to the world or to others and indeed ourselves. Where we are not driven by familiar habit patterns, which are often driven by attachment and fear. Essentially, responding to the world round us from a non-reactive space. Ethical Intelligence is linked to emotional intelligence in that emotional intelligence is applied ethical intelligence. It enables us to connect and respond accordingly with what's most important to us, which may include our vision, purpose, values or morals, which then connects with what we strongly admire, respect and love.
The bottom line is that with regard to relationship between human relations and governance, it's about people wanting to feel a sense of belonging and significance, while being treated with both value and respect. If you treat an employee with that value and respect, their sense of belonging increases and so does their individual productivity and quality.
This blog was written with the support and insight of one of our contributors. Thank you, Divya. As an MBA student specifically interested in marketing and culture, she is a contributor to the Perrin Carey blog. If you would like to contribute to moving governance forwards towards a more ethical and human centric framework, please contact Perrin.