Sunday, 9 October 2011

HR Professionals found to be infected by mystery virus

A leaked Top Secret government document reveals that a sinister and malicious virus has been detected infecting the minds of many of the UK’s HR Managers. Concern has been expressed that this virus could seriously affect the performance of the UK economy, and government scientists are frantically attempting to discover the source of the infection before the epidemic spreads to other sectors of the workforce.

The symptoms of the WNA2DT virus (or, to give it its full scientific name, We’re Not Allowed To Do That) are a reluctance (or, in some cases a blank refusal) to grant managers permission to step outside tightly written HR policy, regardless of the business case for doing so.

A side effect of the virus is the infected person experiencing a form of auditory hallucination from a disembodied source, advising them to comply with sometimes outdated rules and procedures. “We’ve been told that we have to do it this way” is a typical statement made by an HR professional infected by a particularly virulent form of WNA2DT. Questioning as to who has told the HR professional to act in this way is unlikely to lead to any clear outcome.

Researchers are exploring the possibility that WNA2DT is a recent mutation of the older HRTMICDT (HR Told Me I Can’t Do That) virus that was widespread across the UK in the last decade. That particular strain which was prevalent in the managerial population normally led to managers absolving themselves of any responsibility for difficult decisions. In its most common form, managers would frequently find themselves telling their direct reports that if it was up to them, they would have given the employee in question a pay rise, but that HR had forbidden or prevented them from doing so.

The UK Infectious Diseases and Immunisation Agency are advising Chief Executives that the most effective way of preventing the spread of this virus is to ensure that all recruited HR professionals have been immunised by a course of CIPD treatment. Although a 12-month course of treatment with the CIPD vaccine offers a high degree of protection, regular group sessions with other vulnerable members of the profession are also likely to strengthen resistance.

For members of the HR community who are keen to increase their resistance to the WNA2DT virus, and consequently improve their effectiveness within their organisations, a three-day immunisation clinic has been arranged in Manchester in November. Details can be found by clicking the link below.

WNA2DT Immunisation Programme: November 2011

Carlos Tevez replaced by German Beauty

A concerted lobbying campaign by a group of influential readers of the HR Case Studies blog has forced the editorial team to remove the picture of Carlos Tevez accompanying an earlier post.

A petition signed by a significant number of readers (OK, one) said:

Please please please do another blog - if only to stop me having to look at that picture of Tevez when I log in. Not the most attractive bloke on the planet.  Reminds me of the Tazmania Devil.

As a consequence, the editorial team has bowed to public pressure and posted this blog item, so that those visiting the site have something more attractive to gaze upon.

The editorial team apologises if you have been lured to this posting expecting a glimpse of Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer or (showing my age) Katarina Witt.

On a serious note, Herzberg's theory of motivation would suggest that the positive effect of working in a beautiful environment would rapidly wear off, working conditions only ever being a hygiene factor rather than a motivator.

Is he right? Would you eventually get bored of being greeted by the sight of a beautiful landscape from the office window? Or even of Heidi Klum or Hugh Jackman across the desk?

Or does the readership have any more suggestions of whose presence would really motivate you to get some work done?