Monday, 5 December 2011

Lady Gaga: My Life in HR

Readers may be surprised to note that, despite being nominated as an “alternative” keynote speaker for the 2012 CIPD Conference, Lady Gaga has currently polled only one vote on the HR Case Studies poll.

The editorial team managed to catch up with the provocateuse of pop in the middle of her “Born This Way” tour, and ask her if she’s surprised with her low popularity rating.

Editor: Despite your popularity in the world of pop, you’ve not received many votes in support of you speaking at next year’s CIPD Conference. Why do you think that this might be?

I guess it’s probably due to the fact that most people only know of my music work, and are unaware that for me pop superstardom is just a sideline. What gives my life most meaning is the work I do as HR Director for the American Bacon Federation. Like all HR roles, it’s a stressful job, and my music career started off just as a way of de-stressing after a busy day in the office.

Editor: What are the major challenges that you’re currently facing in your HR role?

Well, within the American Bacon Federation we’re really forward-looking in a lot of what we do, so we’re considering the introduction of an electronic timekeeping system to keep a record of employees’ working time, and we’re also looking into the introduction of single-status canteens in our head office.

Editor: I hear that you’ve also been working with a few UK organisations on the internal design of office space. Can you tell us a little about that?

Sure. I think that organisations need to be increasingly tolerant of all the different belief systems present in the workplace, and currently those who espouse a bacon-focused way of life seem to be neglected. At the ABF we’ve recently converted a spare office into a space for those with a devotion to bacon to practice their belief system. I think it’s important for employees to be able to take a short break from the relentless pressure of the modern workplace and just unwind in a bacon-infused environment.

To make sure that we’re inclusive, the bacon sanctuary also features interchangeable stained glass windows so that those employees with more of a devotion to cheese or sardines can feel at home in an environment where they are surrounded by images which reflect their beliefs.

We’re also working closely with an aromatherapy consultancy to explore the circulation of various food-related scents into the open-plan offices. So far, a pilot project has delivered great results, and there’s a demonstrable link with output. At the ABF we’re calling it the Pong-Productivity Effect.

Editor: If you were to speak at next year’s CIPD Conference, can you give us an idea of what you’d be presenting on?

It would have to be the importance of using bacon in any employee well-being programme. 

Editor: Thanks for that. I’m sure that you’ll be receiving a lot more votes now that people realise the contribution that you’ve been making to HR.