Why? Because it says so in the policy manual!

This week, it’s the Redundant Public Servant’s turn to tell us what he’d like to change about HR. To the point, as usual, he lays into HR, and to other managers in his organisation, for slavishly sticking to processes, even when it is clearly farcical to apply them to people who have been made redundant. Here are my two favourite howlers:

  • Being asked to do daft things: Why try to insist on carrying on with business as usual when it isn’t? Say “no” to exit interviews or performance reviews for folks being made redundant.
  • Including the soon to be redundant in round-robin missives about the problems that will hit the organisation after their notice date: THEY DON’T CARE.

I wonder if they stick rigidly to a template for all these interviews:

“What’s made you decide to leave the organisation?”

“You fired me, you f**kwits!”

“What do you see as your key development objective for next year?”

“Errr….improving my score on Countdown.”

Of course mindless adherence to processes isn’t just a public sector thing. The private sector can be just as bad. However, the public sector tends to have more processes to which managers can mindlessly adhere.

It’s strange how otherwise balanced and rational people get totally bound up by process. It is clearly bonkers to carry out performance reviews and set objectives for people who are about to leave the organisation but the HR policy says that all employees must have a formal appraisal, so that’s what we do. 

I loved this observation too:

[E]ven the best HR practitioners cannot always prevent executives from doing stuff that is plainly insane.

I’m going to nick that next time I run an event for HR business partners.

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2 Responses to Why? Because it says so in the policy manual!

  1. Pingback: Why? Because it says so in the policy manual! - Rick - Member Blogs - HR Blogs - HR Space from Personnel Today and Xpert HR

  2. Doug Shaw says:

    I like this article very much – you’ve picked out the cream of the howlers. If this were juke box jury you would get a hit from me. As it is you’ll have to accept my nine out of ten. It would’ve been a ten but I think this post has Pretty Vacant written all over it and coulda continued yr Pistols theme delightfully! 🙂

    “There’s no point in asking you’ll get no reply
    Oh just remember I don’t decide”

    “Don’t ask us to attend ‘cos we’re not all there
    Oh don’t pretend ‘cos I don’t care
    I don’t believe illusions ‘cos too much is real
    So stop you’re cheap comment ‘cos we know what we feel”

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