Sunday, November 26, 2006

Finally, a topic worth blogging about!

As I mentioned in a previous post, my company is deep in the work necessary to complete the transaction where one of our two joint venture parents is buying the other out.... "fun" it ain't!!!

But all this work, coupled in with the usual year-end rush of all that HR minutia is really eating into my reading and blogging time. I completely missed posting last week, but not entirely because I was too busy. It was equally as much because there has been nothing that inspired me to write.... tired minds are not very creative and I refuse to post for the sake of posting. So here I sat, as mute as a stone till....... BANG! Inspiration hit me. No, not the noble kind - I was inspired by something so INCREDIBLY STUPID!

You all know that just the mere act of blogging about anything HR'ish is enough to get my secret HR Decoder ring taken away , so this one ought to REALLY get me in deep kimchi with the grand HR Poobah.

My inspiration for this little diatribe of mine is a recently published study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). I don't think I'm giving away a secret here by telling you that SHRM is viewed as the professional standard bearer for HR pros in America. They are effectively the embodiment of all the good stuff HR is supposed to stand for... till now.... Strap in kids, you are about to hear a good old fashioned rant that would make my Cranky Middle Manager mentor proud!

It seems that these grand champions of the HR profession felt it necessary to conduct a study on a very tricky and emotionally charged topic; no, not ethics reform, benefits cost containment, or even how to help people affected by layoffs - these geniuses decided it was more important to focus on a REALLY vexing question - Is it OK to have weapons in the workplace?! Honest to goodness - they actually decided that this topic needed a formal study capped off by a slick 32 page report on it! This Society strives to make HR a relevant and important part of the business and the most relevant and helpful topic they can study is weapons in the workplace - dear God! My 8 year old niece knows that weapons anyplace near work or school is a major Bozo no-no!

Holy Hopping Snot - what is wrong with these imbeciles? And they wonder why HR can't get a "seat at the table". Duh! How about we devote our time and talent to solving real problems in the workplace that help people and management get the job done well in a pleasant environment with decent pay and benefits. While I am sure that this topic is important and I don't mean to diminish the tragedies that have occurred when folks bring weapons to work, the answer doesn't require a study and a report - it's much simpler than that; If you treat people decently, fairly and manage performance and layoffs with compassion and help for those impacted, you wont need to worry about them bringing a weapon to bear against you.


Looking beyond the insanity of this post, consider if there are risk factors in your organization that might increase the possibility of the "disgruntled" worker coming in with his fire stick to exact a little revenge. Know your people and their pain points and look for ways to defuse the problem before the shots ring out.

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