Work in a high volume HR shop long enough and you're bound to run into some bad human behavior. Lies… Deceit… Job Abandonment… Dress code violations involving Spandex…
I was talking to a former teammate today (previous company), a HR pro who reported to me and supported a large call center (400+ seats). We were talking about the good old days, and she asked me to recall the single worst example of human behavior we worked on together, from an employee relations perspective.
I thought about it for about 20 seconds, and immediately recalled this one:
Player – Customer Service Rep, Call Center
1st Step of Increased Scrutiny – We asked him to bring in a funeral program for the funerals in question, which he promptly and consistently provided upon returning from the days off associated with the funerals.
Brainstorm by HR Manager – Call the funeral home in question to make sure we had the spelling of the name right. Side benefit – see what happens when we give them the name.
Unbelievable Outcome – Customer Service Rep in question had a family member on the "inside" at the funeral home. She mocked up a new program for each fake funeral, complete with funeral home logo and pictures of the deceased. It was a scam!
Outcome – Termination. Awe of the employee's nerve. Nausea. Uneasiness for the future of the human race.
Human nature exists, and HR pros get to see the downside in employee relations issues that involve anger, ambition, lust, lies, etc. But faking funeral programs to get a couple of extra days off? That's taking your game to the next level. The escalator's going down, and you won't be needing that fall jacket. It's warm where he's headed….
As for me? I've got my cynicism to keep me warm, complete with a mission of ensuring every employee handbook I work with has the "we may require documentation" clause in the bereavement policy.
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.