A HR Christmas Carol - Bah Humbug to mean managers!

A HR Christmas Carol - Bah Humbug to mean managers!

Scrooge & Tiny Tim Bod
HR was dead: to begin with.

This Christmas we decided to tell you a familiar tale – Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’. However, we thought the lesson learned by Ebeneezer Scrooge following his warnings from Jacob Marley and the three spirits could just as well apply to modern managers who should learn some valuable lessons from their warnings from HR.

In our tale, the manager wanted HR gone because losing a department is cheap and the manager liked it. But HR will return to show the manager how the chains he forges in life, link by link, can be changed by free will, by gathering and listening to feedback. HR will return to haunt our manager, because the ghost of HR can see he is in trouble.

Remember managers: the warnings from HR are things that may be, not things that will be.

The Ghost of Christmas past

This is the ghost of memory – of things that have gone before, opportunities that could have been taken, goals that could have been achieved.  This phantom shows the manager comments and feedback already given that have shaped the present. The importance of taking heed of things in the past, and keeping a record of them will shape your present and future. Make note of past feedback if you wish to improve in the future.

The Ghost of Christmas Present

This jolly spectre only lives for one day, but you must remember that each day, a lifetime to this particular being, is of great importance. It is the short term goals we set ourselves, and the way we interact with each other that make up who we are and how others perceive us. The jolly giant spirit transports the manager to his loyal and overlooked employees’ home to see that money isn’t everything, and that taking an interest in the lives of your staff make a big difference.

The Ghost of Christmas yet to come

This most terrifying of apparitions was the last to visit the manager. By this point the manager had already begun to see the error of his ways. He now knew that setting goals in the present could help his future, and that communicating and opening his door to others would pave the way to a happier, healthier business. The terrifying figure also revealed from under his coat two smaller ghostly figures, the ghosts of want and ignorance.

They remind him that he must never ignore the wants of others, or be ignorant toward feedback. He must also consider his own actions. However, despite being the most terrifying, the Ghost of Christmas yet to come is the most full of hope.

He represents the power you have to change your own future by listening to feedback, addressing the wants and concerns of others and by doing little things to show those people who you work with a little kindness and respect. They will work hard for you, and you will work as a team if only if you listen to each other.

The Ghost of Christmas future also showed the manager what happened when he was gone. No one cared. No one helped him during his demise - because he had never cared for them. Instead they jumped ship, and the manager failed alone.

Once the terrifying spirits departed, the manager was once again left alone in his office. The Ghost of HR knew its work was done.

The once miserly, ignorant and solitary manager listened to the feedback the ghosts had given him, and wanted to use it to make a change. He had learned that your staff will work hard and be loyal if you listen to them and show them that they matter to you.

‘I shall live in the past, present and the future!’ exclaimed the manager.

He went straight out into the world to do something good for his previously overworked and disengaged employees. He intended to enjoy a Christmas dinner with them, to acknowledge the hard work they put in all year round. He swore to listen to what they had to say and to offer them encouragement, to give them new opportunities, exciting and challenging goals. To make them feel like an important part of his company.

So remember this – Christmas is a chance to forget petty squabbles, hectic schedules – to let your staff know they are of value to you.

I always wanted a boss like Fezziwig, who was both a good friend and a generous employer. So did the manager in our tale, but over time he forgot to listen to the voice of his staff. He fell into that easy trap of thinking solely in terms of material success.

But the ghost of HR knew better, because he knew that with happy workers, great feedback and challenging goals, success naturally follows.

It’s never too late to change your workplace culture and make merry of those you see every day.

So Merry Christmas, everyone!

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