Saturday, May 5, 2007

Bizarro Human Resources

As a kid I read comic books, and became a huge Superman fan. One of Superman’s foes was a character called Bizarro. Bizarro was a flawed doppelganger of Superman that possessed an odd if not twisted logic. Bizarro would basically do the complete opposite of whatever Superman would do. So you would have Superman representing the “right way” versus Bizarro completely conflicting with him representing the “wrong way”. Well, in a case of fiction becomes reality, I have encountered a department within my company that does the complete opposite of what they should do. I try to figure this department out, but unfortunately there’s no figuring out our Bizarro Human Resources department. The case of Bizarro HR includes:

Bizarro Head of HR. She should be professional and knowledgeable and hold a bevy of various HR certifications. Instead she is schizophrenically moody some days choosing to acknowledge you, other times looking right through you without a comment. She plays favorites in her department and has even pinched the cheek (face) of a male employee in the department commenting on "how cute he is." She also has a foul mouth and goes on cursing rampages in front of her employees and other employees in the company. She also will talk about other people's performance information and make fun of some of our under performers. When I asked her about PHR or SPHR certifications, she asked me what those letter meant. And this is the head of HR? Yikes.

Bizarro HR Workers. Our benefits HR person never has time to answer your questions and when she does, the answers are incorrect. The payroll HR people are setting a consistency record for screwing up paychecks each week, mostly because they've never been trained properly by the payroll supervisor. This is probably because the payroll supervisor spends her day managing her own payroll by balancing her checkbook, paying bills, making calls about mortgages for a house she wants to buy, etc.

Bizarro HR Practices. They conduct exit surveys for employees resigning, but never follow-up on those surveys. They may want to look at their own exit surveys as HR has one of the highest turnover rates in our company (what does that tell you?). They complain about performance reviews not being written properly loudly in their department, but never think to hold training or clarification sessions. The end of year tax information is always a treat as this year they incorrectly issued our tax information and only realized it after employees started to complain. There is also no formal interview process, which leads to even more turnover as many managers hire people they like, not people that are qualified.

I guess I can't expect much, because pretty much every department at my company is Bizarro. People generally coast along in their own Bizarro worlds. I'm in my own Turtle world, moving slow and steady, trying to lay low and avoid my Bizarro work environment. I tried being Superman when I started at my company, but too many Bizarros are just to much for one Superman.


Bizarro HR Practices......

95% of exit surveys are stupidly constructed. They more often than not ask the dearly departed to comment on how they felt about Herzberg's hygiene factors, vs. true drivers of engagement - or let's say the real reason(s) why the party left.

Most exit interview questions are so grueling (for all parties), than when it's over, the clearly departed and Missie or Fred from HR are happier than a hobo with a ham sandwich.

As always, excellent points Robert. Our HR department asked me to conduct the exit interviews for their people leaving. The survey was a complete joke, worded to lead the employee towards a particular answer. Constructing any survey is more of an art that people think. First trying to determine what you are trying to capture is key. Then wording the survey appropriately with questions that are not leading is one thing. It takes a lot of time, effort and planning, by my copmany is about getting things done, not getting things done correctly.

Our Bizarro HR dept doesn't understand the complexities of organizing/developing surveys. Hell, if I asked them about Herzberg or Maslow they'd probably ask me if they were an act in Vegas (ala Sigfried and Roy). LOL.

Thanks again for dropping by.

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home