Top 5 tips to survive a zombie apocalypse in the workplace!

Top 5 tips to survive a zombie apocalypse in the workplace!

Zombie bod
In the spirit of Halloween, I've been thinking about zombies.

Zombies are morose, mindless brain munching fiends. They wander around, moaning, groaning and spreading their infection, turning anyone they can get their hands on into an addition to their horrible army of the un-dead. The idea of feeling like the walking dead, aimlessly shuffling around also got me thinking about the similarity between zombies and disengaged, unhappy employees.

Who hasn’t at some point had a job where Monday morning made you feel like you were begrudgingly trudging to work, brain still asleep, pointlessly roaming the corridors, grumbling and unthinking until it’s time to leave? (Thankfully the Carbon360 team are not at all like that!)

But what is it that leads to the zombification of employees?

At the start of employment with a new organisation, staff come in happy and engaged. They're full of effort, enthusiasm and feel like part of the team. But slowly, they can change. They can become distant, their eyes can glaze over, they can start to moan, and although they aren’t actively seeking to eat the brains of their co-workers, they will end up sapping the life and soul out of them, because disengagement and low morale spread faster than you can say ‘Zombie Apocalypse’.

You can’t shoot disengaged staff members of course, though you can fire them if it gets too bad! But before it gets to that, what can HR do to avoid a zombie invasion?

Here are 5 tips to help you survive…

1. Make sure staff aren’t already on the turn when you hire them in!

There are so many great, talented people on the lookout for jobs – take the time to pick new recruits wisely and hire one that really fits and will be passionate about working for your organisation. If you don’t the cost of a new hire, plus the cost of replacing them if they are a wrong fit will hurt your finances as much as having your arms and legs chewed off.

2. Keep your eyes peeled for signs of infection!

The transition from living to un-dead can be slow, but by the time staff have fully transformed and left the land of the living (i.e. your organisation) who knows how much damage they may have done and infection they may have spread. By setting on-going goals and targets you keep staff engaged, motivated and challenged – that’s what keeps them alive and stops them slipping into a mindless, glassy eyed stupor.

3. Keep your team alive!

Sitting in silence staring at a screen all day is not conducive to happy, engaged staff. Obviously, work is work, but staff who take the time to talk and get to know each other will actually work better together and will feel like part of the team. Organising things like work socials and team building events strengthen your team, and therefore your organisation.

4. Working together helps all of you to survive!

To survive the apocalypse, you need to work as a team. Everyone needs to contribute for the good of the whole, and be seen to contribute. If you don’t, resentful members will want to go out alone and fend for themselves, and that’s where the rot starts to set in. Managers need to speak to their employees, and techniques like 360-feedback take away the hierarchy and lend transparency, it means that everyone knows they are working together to stay alive. It also means all employees will trust their leaders have a vested interest in survival.

5. Listen out for the cry of urgh, argh, brains!

If you listen out, you can hear zombies changing. Someone could have been in a state of zombification for a while, but if you don’t listen carefully, and look them in the eyes, how will you be able to tell? Both HR and managers need to speak to their staff regularly, get their feedback and opinions and take the time to let them know both their work and opinions are valuable to the team.

As we are thankfully not really in a zombie film, when you spot the first signs of change you can work to reverse the effect before it truly takes hold. You have the power to take control HR, and stop the Zombie Apocalypse!

Good Luck!

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