Stories by Heather Baukney

Human Resources 101: Up Close with Personnel

According to many HR executives and analysts, the shift in the overall focus and everyday workings of the HR department has been profound over the past few years. Personnel--the people who used to spend all day counting heads and updating employee files in the back office--are coming to the fore as business partners, helping their organizations transform and develop in a climate of globalization and competition. Despite HR's evolving role, what hasn't changed is that employee data still needs to be amended and benefits inquiries addressed. While information technology seems the logical slayer of the paper tiger, and human resources information system (HRIS) software and vendors are abundant, many organizations have been slow to adopt such tools. Here's a look at what HR executives need from their CIOs in order to focus on timely challenges and why the pulse of the whole company will weaken if these needs are not met.

Can We Share?

After abandoning a life of fasting and meditation for the material world, the title character in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha takes a job assisting a successful merchant, Kamaswami. Although Siddhartha has a knack for business and customer service, Kamaswami still questions his true dedication to increasing the merchant's profits. A friend advises the merchant, "Give him a third of the profits of the business which he conducts for you, but let him share the same proportion of losses if any arise. He will thus become more enthusiastic."