Thoughts on Human Resources
After watching that Dirty Harry clip where Eastwood proclaims that Personnel is, “for assholes”, I decided I’d flesh out some of my observations on Human Resources and its role within the modern corporate organization.
• Outside of executive management, HR holds the most power within a corporation as they are often the only ones with the power to hire, fire and discipline. One could even say that they are the most powerful department within a corporation since all employees, including executives, are subject to the same rules. Of course, all employees do not receive equal treatment and those higher up the ladder, those considered more valuable to the company, are often given more leeway in regards to their behavior. The fact remains though that all disciplinary actions go through HR and therefore they are considered the highest authority within a corporation.
• As anybody who’s ever worked for a large company can tell you, when not dealing with hiring, firing, discipline or benefits, HR’s duties are often rather useless. For example, at the company I work for the hiring manager will send out weekly emails titled “Training Topics” which contain such nuggets of wisdom as the origins of National Pie Day and the benefits of drinking coffee.
• HR is responsible for maintaining and perpetuating the culture of the corporation. This largely involves organizing activities for employees which may or may not be mandatory but always proceed with the air of voluntary participation and forced fun. The aim is to patronize the employees in an infantile manner and reinforce the notion that the company is like a family even though everybody hates the activities and would probably not associate with those involved if it was on a purely voluntary basis.
• While it is essential to prevent discrimination, abuse and crude behavior within a workplace that could be seen as, “creating a hostile environment”, it is important to note that HR is very receptive to political correctness and progressive victimology. In many cases, a remark or action determined to be discriminatory will likely be resolved with immediate dismissal. The parameters for what determines what is discriminatory are very loose and usually at the discretion of the HR manager. The inroads of social progressivism in the private sector are always though HR who are, again, the keepers of the corporate culture.
• When dealing with mandatory “team building” exercises, the language of HR is infantile. When dealing with disciplinary actions, the language of HR is therapeutic and emotional, with a primary focus on how one feels. HR prefers soft power to the more stoic and masculine approach utilized by executive leadership. HR will often utilize guilt and disappointment when dealing with a problem employee.