The Definitive Miley Cyrus Guide to HR

William Tincup Bad HR, William Tincup

As told through her latest (and greatest?) album… Bangerz. Her distinct and deep knowledge of HR is woven into the tapestry of her latest album. Don’t hate her because she’s got a really long, slightly bleached pointy tongue. Hate her because she knows HR better than you. Haters hate. Leaders lead.

Let’s analyze the HR gospel that is Bangerz. Her words, our world.

Track One: Adore You

“When you say you love me, Know I love you more, And when you say you need me, Know I need you more. Boy, I adore you, I adore you.”

This song is clearly about employee engagement. We want employees to love us. We want to love employees… not in the overly handsy Christmas party way… but really love employees. Reciprocal work love seldom occurs.

Track 2: We Can’t Stop

“It’s our party we can do what we want, It’s our party we can say what we want, It’s our party we can love who we want.”

This song is about generations at work. Boomers are done. Gen X is ready to lead but no one really likes them and Millennials aren’t ready to lead. It’s the merry-go-round clash of generations. I think I can speak for Miley here–I can’t wait for the millennials to lead.

Track 3: SMS (Bangerz) (feat. Britney Spears)

“She be strutting that stuff, that stuff, that stuff, She be strutting that stuff, I be strutting my stuff, She be strutting that stuff, that stuff, that stuff.”

This song is about high potentials. How do we actually support the most valuable assets in our company? Remember 80% of the value of your firm comes from 20% of the employee population. Strut that!

Track 4: 4×4 (feat. Nelly)

“I’m a female rebel, can’t you see?”

This song is about developing women leaders/promoting from within. The “can’t you see?” lyric is especially haunting. Truth is… we’re terrible at developing talent from within. My gut tells me that great talent is amongst us all the time and we just don’t see it. (shakes fist)

Track 5: My Darlin (feat. Future)

“What happened to that feeling? We’ll never get it back.”

This song is about failed performance reviews. It’s lazy to say that performance reviews suck. I’m lazy… see what I did there. I kid. It’s the missed expectations of performance reviews that we really get wrong. What you thought versus what I thought… it’s an apples-to-erasers comparison. We have a moment of understanding and we (typically) squander it; moreover, we rarely get that moment back.

Track 6: Wrecking Ball

“All I wanted was to break your walls, All you ever did was wreck me, Yeah, you, you wreck me.”

This song is about millennials at work. Turns out, millennials hate the way we work. Hate. As well they should. Our love affair with work is dumb. So, yeah… they are not so secretly trying to break down our walls. Um, we call those best practices and $h!t.

Track 7: Love, Money, Party (feat. Big Sean)

“Money ain’t nothing but money, When you get to the money, it ain’t nothing but money.”

This song is about total rewards. We know this. Money is the only driver to employee happiness. It’s important, but it isn’t the be-all, end-all. What’s the total package we offer employees? And how do we find out what is/isn’t important to them? Those are darned good questions, Miley.


“Don’t make me wait, Don’t make me wait.”

This song is about meeting employees where they are. Smart HR executives have known this for years. You meet the audience where they are. In other news, no one likes to wait.

Track 9: Drive

“You told me you were coming back, Right back, Promised it was real and I believed that, But if I fall for it again, I will be a fool.”

This song is obviously about training and development. We make so many mistakes in T&D. Most of all, we fail because we don’t invest in enough training. It’s weird; we think training increases the odds employees will leave us. Not so. It helps them love us. Train, yo.

Track 10: FU (feat. French Montana)

“What makes you think I’ll stick around, I’m not as stupid as you sound, And you sound really dumb right now.”

This song is about retaining top talent. Turns out, pimpin’ ain’t easy. The number one job in HR is retaining top talent… it’s also, coincidentally enough, the hardest job in HR.

Track 11: Do My Thang

“I’mma do my thing, I’mma do my thing, So don’t you worry about me, I’mma be okay, I’mma do my thing, ’cause I’mma do my thing.”

This song is about creating/supporting a winning corporate culture. Culture is fluid. Letting employees be themselves within the corporate context is KING. That is culture.

Track 12: Maybe You’re Right

“Chapter one we started happy, The second that you said you loved me, Started questioning us, Are we really in love?, Trying to figure out chapter three.”

This song is about employee communications. Right time, right message, and right audience–tons of moving parts and we’re generally terrible at communicating with employees–outside of benefits communication… seems like we mastered that. Well, until ACA undid all of our momentum. Thanks, Washington.

Track 13: Someone Else

“Love is patient, Love is selfless, Love is hopeful, Love is kind, Love is jealous, Love is selfish, Love is helpless, Love is blind.”

This song is about corporate values. Hiring, promoting and living your values Turns out, corporate values are more than words on the backs of business cards. Miley nailed. Albeit, I would add love is trusting… but then again, who am I to judge?

Track 14: Rooting For My Baby

“So hold on, In a minute it’ll be over and gone, Gone, gone, gone, gone.”

This song is about persevering through tough work assignments. Not every day is easy and glorious. How do we help our employees grind it out? How do we support them when work sucks balls? Dunno… but we should probably work on that.

Track 15: On My Own

“You will never listen when I need someone to talk to, So you switch the subject, cause, cause it’s beyond you, And when you talk about your dreams, I’m never included.”

This song is clearly about bad managers. We all know how bad managers affect our work lives. HR should be re-branded as the “Riding The World Of Bad Managers Department.” #rtwobmd Can I get an “I know, right?”

Track 16: Hands In The Air (feat. Ludacris)

“I remember dreaming bout, The things I do right now, Like I climbed onto a cloud, Scared to look back down.”

This song is about creating a successful onboarding program. Connecting the dots between why we recruited a person to we’re so glad you’re here to do the job. We should really be better at onboarding. Turns out, it’s tantamount to the romance phase of marriage.

Well ladies and gentlemen–that’s the Bangerz album. Who knew Miley knew HR? So young and yet so wise about our world. Preach, Miley, preach.