Because I am totally obsessed with the #2012LondonOlympics, and because I find them oddly like The Hunger Games (only with less drunken Haymitch’s and fewer fights to the death), and because I find myself relating everything to the Olympians, today we’re going to relate the Olympics to HR.
After all, good HR people are pretty much like well-trained Olympic Athletes. Okay… we’re not. We’re not even a little bit.
Just humor me and Michael Phelps on this one.
Event 1: The Open Enrollment Relay
I don’t know any HR people (especially those with smaller HR departments) who find open enrollment fun and easy. Let’s face it, open enrollment is a freaking nightmare. It totally sucks, and we all dread it. Even if you have online open enrollment system, someone always drops the baton, and forgets to enroll. And someone’s wife is always calling to change elections, after the fact. And some person in your department forgot to link that system to payroll.
Objective: Get everyone’s benefits completed before the open enrollment period ends. You know and I know, this is basically impossible. Only the strong will make it past the qualifiers.
Event 2: The Disciplinary Triathlon
When it comes to discipline, we typically have three events. The employee screws up, the manager comes to you, and now it’s your problem.
- The employee is obviously the swimmer here. He jumped right into trouble without thinking. He’s going to need more than a doggy paddle to survive.
- The manager is clearly is the bike rider. His wheels are spinning and he just wants to get this problem off his desk.
- You, HR, are the runner. It’s your baby now. Run with it.
Objective: Finish the race first, without getting your company sued.
Event 3: Wrestling in Recruits
The competition is steep. It’s you vs. the bigger company. It’s you vs. the guy with better benefits. It’s you vs. the place they work now. Recruiting is a non-stop wrestling match. You want the best recruits. You’ll need to wrestle them away from your competition.
Objective: Take no prisoners! That recruit will be yours! Hut! Hut! Hike! Oh, wait… wrong sport.
Event 4: Employee Relations Gymnastics
You’ve bent over backwards for this guy. There is nothing else left in you. Now it’s up to him to give HR a good name. After all, you’re a pro, and you did your job well. If you’re lucky, he’ll give you a perfect ten. You are the next Nadia Comaneci (only, no one wants you to wear a leotard to work – email subscriber click through to see video).
Objective: Help your employees. Make them like you. Make them respect you. Get a perfect 10 by bending over backwards.
Event 5: Unemployment Table Tennis
The ball is in your court. No wait, the ball is on your side of the table. Of course this guy isn’t going to get unemployment benefits. You’re going to fight it. He was a no call/no show. No call/no shows never win.
Unless you live in Ohio.
The guy appeals. You appeal. The guy appeals. You appeal. The guy appeals. You appeal. The guy wants a hearing. You accept the hearing.
Objective: WOO the telephone hearing officer (who makes you swear in over the telephone, LIKE THEY EVEN KNOW IF I HAVE MY LEFT HAND RAISED!). If you win here, you don’t have to go back and forth anymore.
What games would you add to the HR Olympics? Something with archery, maybe?
Meredith Soleau was supposed to be a famous country singer, but her parents made her go to college and major in something “real.” She graduated with a B.S. in Business from the University of Toledo, and landed a gig as a Human Resources Director at a large car dealership in Ohio. After eight years of HR at a car dealership, she burned out, decided to sell cars herself, and has since launched her agency, where she specializes in finding blue-collar workers. Clearly she has plenty of stories. But the best stories are probably about Meredith, herself. Read them on her personal blog, meredithsoleau.com, where she holds nothing back.