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Human circularity is possible! by Romane

30 March 2022
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The Circular HRM project was born out of a desire for circularity within human resources. Circularity, in all its forms, is usually associated with material resources. But shouldn’t resources include human resources? Of course!

These days, everyone is familiar with the (almost) redundant expression “make, consume, throw away”, an expression we are trying to leave behind and replace with the circular economy.

Nevertheless, in the face of this desire for recycling, renewal and sustainability, it is interesting to look at what companies are putting in place in terms of their human resources. Indeed, human resources are more than just the department known under that name. When we talk about the human resources of a company, we mean the employees who make up the company.

Many companies are unaware of this but, just like material resources, it is possible to make the employees of a company sustainable, durable and therefore circular. But people are more than just another resource. Emmanuel Mossay says, if we do not include people and their intangible contributions as resources for the company, where do we place them? A resource, even an immaterial one, needs to be preserved, developed and valued.

In view of this observation, a group of experts sat down to demonstrate that it is possible to introduce the notion of circularity into human resources through 7 practices:

  1. Eco-design, which can be translated into a healthy working environment.
  2. Recycling, by understanding the needs of the worker to encourage redeployment, specifically through training.
  3. Repair by reintegrating workers after a long absence.
  4. Re-use by paying attention to the skills of workers reaching retirement age.
  5. Industrial ecology through diversity in recruitment.
  6. Economy of functionality by managing human resources in multiple subsidiaries and managing different work regimes (fixed-term, permanent, temporary, etc.).
  7. Re-use and the sharing economy by recommending a worker to another employer when a contract ends.

In carrying out these 7 practices, VO has been cited as an example of trying to implement certain actions to be part of this human circularity. Specifically, we would highlight the collective intelligence tools that tie in with the concept of eco-design, preventive burn-out training for repairs and the coaching programmes that are available at VO for the concept of re-use and the sharing economy.

VO is not yet cited in all of these practices. To this end, we have set up a task force dedicated to the well-being, development and sustainability of an essential resource - people!

For more information on the Circular HRM project, co-created with the Erasmus + programme, visit: https://circular-hrm.eu/