Here’s a little festive tale of HR for you, called the Cinderella School of HR.
Cinderella doesn’t like having to work long hours in the run up to Christmas, and drop everything every time her step mother wants something. She prefers being able to work flexible hours, as she knows what she needs to get done. Helping her identify ways of improving her work/life balance makes her much more engaged with her work.
The Ugly Sisters spend a lot of time telling poor Cinders what to do. They find fault with everything that she does and yet they never lift a finger to help. Why do they pick on their step-sister in this way? Because they’ve both realised that they’re not reaching the objectives that were set at their last appraisals – they’re both underperforming! Making Cinderella look bad means that their mother won’t notice how useless they are. Perhaps they need the Fairy Godmother to carry out their next appraisals and see what needs to be done?
Prince Charming used to be far from charming. He was always doing his own thing, despite having been told what to do on numerous occasions. He turned up late for princely duties; he didn’t send his reports back to the office promptly, so Buttons couldn’t get the invoices out on time. The Fairy Godmother was called in to see if young Charming could be sacked. Instead she suggested a capability meeting, where she explained the concerns and set some goals for Charming to achieve in time for another meeting in two weeks. The King called back just a week later to say that Charming had suddenly become utterly charming and was in fact now the best Prince that the King had ever known. All that from one meeting!
So if Cinderella doesn’t seem pleased to be at work, ask her what you can do to improve her work/life balance.
If you’ve got Ugly Sisters not meeting their targets, or Princes not being charming, instead of trying to get rid of them, talk to them about how you can improve their performance and wave your magic wand! You could be surprised by the results. Oh yes you could!
What can you do to make sure you don’t make a pantomime out of HR in your business?