Any half-decent human resources team is well aware of the value of maintaining positive relationships with employees. And there’s no shortage of great HR teams out there working hard to keep things running smoothly at their companies.
Everyone talks about how to be the best. But what about the worst? You don’t have to look that far to find HR teams that are actually active threats the businesses they work for. Here are nine (needlessly complicated) ways to excel at being the absolute worst HR team around. If you have any sense at all, you won’t follow this advice:
1. Never respond to anyone’s calls or inquiries
When employees call you for help, tell them they’ve reached the wrong person. Or better yet, tell them they’ve reached the wrong department. Then, don’t put them through to anyone who can help them, or tell them someone will call them back—then make sure that no one ever does.
2. Don’t answer the phone. At all. Ever.
Neglecting inquiries is one thing. You can take it a step further by making sure that they never make it to you in the first place. Implement convoluted voicemail mazes and disfunctional voice-recognition software. Leave your phone off the hook for most of the day, or let it ring “busy.” If a tenacious employee manages to get through to you, put her on hold for at least 30 minutes, then send the call to your (already full) voice mail.
3. Lose important papers, then ask employees to resubmit them
When your department receives receipts, mileage reimbursement logs, and vacation requests, don’t organize them or send them to the appropriate person. Instead, lose them or “accidentally” throw them away, then ask staff to submit them again. Bonus points if you don’t tell anyone the papers are missing, and simply wait until somebody notices. Most importantly: never digitize any of these processes.
4. Only hire low-performing staff
Top performers are threats to everyone else’s jobs. If you’re a front-line recruiter, you can stop them from ever infiltrating your carefully-constructed den of non-productivity.
5. Promote terrible employees (and don’t promote good ones)
If you accidentally end up with a few talented employees, don’t let on! Squeeze out every last ounce of work you can out of them, and then terminate them for inconsequential mistakes. Prevent repeating your foolish error by promoting the laziest and least knowledgeable members of your team to a management positions. Word will spread so quickly about your organization’s backwardness that no talented person would dare step foot in your offices ever again.
6. Actively discourage hard work
Whether business is booming or falling apart, always tell staff that you can’t afford to increase compensation. Couple this news with requests for unpaid overtime, rewards for poor performances, and recognition of employees who cut corners.
7. Give vague and ineffective feedback
Nothing sends employees’ heads spinning faster than giving them performance reviews with vague and immeasurable feedback. Tell them their performances just aren’t good enough and that they really need to do better. Just don’t ever tell them how.
8.Discipline people randomly and show favoritism
Have a strict discipline policy, but don’t discipline all employees equally. Let the worst offenders break policy constantly without giving them even a verbal warning. At the same time, make sure that the rest of your staff receive written warnings for every minor infraction.
9. Implement unnecessary training programs
Start things off wrong from the beginning. Give new employees outdated training materials that don’t cover any aspect of their jobs. For tenured employees, bring in mandatory new programs that have no basis in fact or organizational needs. Bonus points if the employees are more qualified to teach the course than the trainers are.