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Celebrating your ex-company’s success, and other HR No-Nos

Human resources failsThis week, we read this article with interest >>

It seems that a large company which made several people in the UK redundant sent out letters asking them to celebrate their success. The company claim it was a genuine mistake, which it probably was, but it did not ease the disgust that was felt by the redundant workers. The problem is that not only can this be prevented by simple administrative competency, but also that firms believe they have a right to celebrate in profits without thinking about the people that helped them achieve it. They should be thanking their current staff for helping them and their shareholders to profit, not asking them to celebrate, whether currently employed or not. Too many companies forget the human effort it takes for collective success. And now, we shall get off our soapbox.

Here are some more lessons we can learn from human resource fails

  • If you cheese them off, don’t expect compliance

This story from a couple of years ago will serve as a reminder why you don’t upset the employees left in control of your public channels. When staff at HMV found out, rather abruptly, that they were being made redundant, HR didn’t think to first take control of the company’s Twitter account. This is the result.

  • Never undervalue your best staff

In the 2007 US company Circuit City, a rival to Best Buy, decided to replace its loyal, knowledgable employees with more cost-effective staff. Complaints increased, confidence in customer service plummeted, which meant the aim of cutting staff costs to increase profitability had the opposite effect. By 2009, the company had all but disappeared.,8599,1858079,00.html


  •  Don’t forget that people have feelings

After asking for feedback after an unsuccessful interview, 48-year old James was stunned by the response. While it may be that James was “rude, inappropriate, and insulting”, it’s probably not best practice to actually tell him so. Even if it was true, James was obviously upset enough to name the employer. In the internet age, it’s wise not to show your company in a bad light – it may put off less rude, inappropriate, and insulting candidates applying to work for you.

 If you want help managing your best asset, then get in touch!

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