Zombie HR

Soccer Mom Zombie
Soccer Mom Zombie

Photo c/o juco

It’s weird. As the HR blogosphere expands with a rush of intelligence, creativity and sensitivity provided by Alison Chisnell and Onatrainagain, among many others, so the more established online HR press seems to be…zombifying. A few days ago @TheHRD drew my attention to this unimaginitive offering on the People Management site about anagrams in HR. This kind of salami wore junk (you figure it out) does nothing to enhance the journo reputation of HR in the online world. I let it pass. Just a blip.

Earlier this week on the HR Magazine website I read about Vance Kearney saying we should ban words like cuts and recession, because they are boring and negative. I’m all for optimism but suggesting we ban words because we don’t like what they mean? I’m not in favour of banning things, of trying to control things by stamping them out. There are better ways to encourage people towards a more purposeful motivating way of working, and banning stuff isn’t one of them. Sticking your fingers in your ears and going la la laaa probably works better.

The next day delivers more pearls of wisdom. This time, under the headline “There’s only one thing worse than an idiot and that’s an engaged and motivated idiot” Kearney knocks engagement, saying it needs more rigour. I don’t agree. For me encouraging a state of engagement is about less rigour not more. Next up we’re recommended to hire people with the biggest brains we can find (I wish he had said so we can feast on them – but he didn’t). There’s more. Apparently, “The world of work has changed. But people still want the same things, they want fascinating work, intelligent colleagues and to play on a team. But the context has changed.” How? No explanation is offered. And then I read evidence of the existence of zombie HR. Kearney goes on to state, “I like employees to be engaged and motivated. I like them to be dead and not dead. I don’t think anyone’s ever tested it.” What!!?? Dead and not dead? True zombie HR! I tweeted about this earlier and @FlipChartFT suggested that the benefit of dead, or zombie employees, may be that they don’t qualify for minimum wage. That may well be the case but honestly, I have no idea what Vance Kearney is on about. Poor reporting at best. See me after school.

I hope this recent slip into zombie HR is short lived. Have you seen any other zombies shuffling about lately?

Neeeeed fresh braaaaiiinnnss!