Humans seem to be looked at as beings without a soul, without emotions, without a purpose, … It is a restrictive financial and materialistic way to look at people.

People have a body AND a heart AND a soul.

We, as human beings, can’t and don’t want to be reduced to a tool, a ‘means’. We long for meaning, bonding, community, identity, … and so much more.

That’s why I plead to get rid of HR, meaning to transform HR or Human Resources into People & Culture.

I see and feel several trends and growing practices that add heart and soul to companies and organisations: impact entrepreneurship, steward ownership, purpose, belonging, inclusion, sustainability etc., just to name a few.

There are at least three common grounds that mark all these heart and soul initiatives and support the idea of People and Culture:

  1. PURPOSE driven is in:
    People choose more and more consciously for employers who contribute to the bigger picture. According to Forbes, employees, especially millennial and Gen Z workers, want their work to have a broader societal impact and they select their new employers on the impact they want to contribute to. We, as human beings, reflect (more and more?) on our individual purpose in life, our soul mission, the reason why we are on this planet etc.
    Having our purpose clear ánd manifesting/living it, is essential to the transition into a People & Culture approach.
  1. AUTHENTICITY matters:
    According to Simmons University, Institute for Inclusive Leadership, over 90% of their survey respondents agreed that authenticity in the workplace is important. I believe that people are more aware, and conscious, and therefore value sustainability, belonging, inclusion, etc in an authentic way. As time goes by, we all are becoming more critical of window dressing, greenwashing, etc.

So, if you decide to transform your HR to People & Culture make sure the decision comes from your heart and soul and not just from your head or because that is the thing to do.

  1. INCLUSION matters:
    As diversity in our society increases (for example in the area of gender, neurodiversity, etc), inclusion becomes more and more important. ‘Diversity being ‘the mix’ and inclusion making ‘this mix work’’ as quoted by Andres Tapia.

The more complex the mix, the more awareness and effort are required to make it work. Plenty of research shows that people who can bring their whole identity to work, who feel connected, etc, do feel happier at work and are willing to stay and/or bring in even more people to your company.

HR can only become People & Culture if inclusion is embedded in every decision, and every action.

What can you do to make this important TRANSFORMATION from HR to People & Culture?

Everything starts with your company culture. And no, that is not your company values written on the wall, but the ‘way things are done in your company’. The way your culture is lived by your team members is your true, ‘authentic’ company culture. That is your starting point.

One of my clients described the company culture in his company as informal. He (the CEO) said he was always available for a conversation.
When I did some in-depth interviews with some people in his company they told me the culture was rather formal. When I asked to give an example to make that more concrete, the interviewee told me that the door of the CEO’s office is mostly closed, whereas the door of the previous CEO was always open. The door open or closed changed the perception of the people and impacted the culture of that company.

Remember … ‘Their perception is their reality.’

Defining your company culture bottom up is a great way to capture the true nature of your organisation in that ‘NOW’ moment.
That is what the company ‘Glowi’ did a few years ago. They are in the cleaning business and asked each and every employee to give their input on the company culture. They defined their company values based on that input. Their values come alive in their communication ‘style’, the recognition of their people, etc. And they perform regular pulse checks so that can redirect if needed. This flexibility is essential.

Company culture is not a destination, it’s a journey.

Without people, you cannot build a culture. When people feel at home in your organisation, they will be at their best. They will become ambassadors without you even asking them. People feel at home when they can show their true colours without hesitation or fear (when they sense a Safe Haven at work).

Every person is a sales – or marketing person in your company 😉

How to create a culture where people feel they belong?

When you change the way you look @ things, things you look @change
Dr. Wayne Dyer

Connection is key. In an authentic way. Not just because you are curious or you read it in this article.
What makes your team tick? What makes them enthusiastic?
What’s happening in your colleagues’ life privately?
What makes them laugh?
What does create a great vibe at the workplace?
Do they need any different accommodations at work? Etc.

Do you know that just allowing a dog in the office can change the atmosphere a lot?

When you are talking to job applicants, connect on a personal level as soon as possible. Show them you care.
Do ask if they need any accommodations during the recruitment process or once they got the job. Be inclusive for people that need more time to reflect, people that are not able to distinguish certain colours, people with hearing aid, and so much more.

When your colleague is late yet again, instead of telling your colleague it is important to be on time, I am sure your colleague is aware of that, make time to understand what is ‘really’ going on.

When your colleague is sick for a longer period of time, make sure you stay connected (heart & soul), get in touch on a regular basis, send a card, show that you care …

Keep and foster the ‘human’ but replace the ‘resources’ with your heart and soul. Be genuine and authentic and do translate that into your employer branding internally and externally.

Do you feel like you are TRIGGERED now to dive into this transformation process from HR to People & Culture?

1. You will find more inspiration in my free white paper here: -> with link to the free white paper on the home page ( ).

  1. You can subscribe to my weekly inspiration blog on LinkedIn:
  2. Or you can subscribe to my weekly mail:

Drop me a line on what triggered you in this article and what you feel about this change/shift/transformation within your company?
I love to read what you define as a challenge, so we can shift this thought into a clear co-creative action plan!