Luke Watkeys, Business Manager
Each year around this time, I like to take a well-known and loved Christmas story, and re-HR it in true Real People style. This year’s tale is ‘How the Grinch stole Christmas’. So, get cosy, dig deep into that big box of chocolates nearby, and enjoy.
On a snowy and remote land, is based the workplace of Happy Co, home to an almost complete set of engaged, motivated and happy employees. The organisation is joyously preparing for the coming of Christmas...
Later on that week, Jen heads through the workplace to grab some stationary from the cupboard, and finds the Grinch nearby moaning again to two of the team. Jen decides to investigate this incident, and interviews several people, including those who have worked with the Grinch for years.
From the information Jen collects, she finds that the Grinch used to be a model employee when he started at HappyCo ten years ago. However, the Grinch’s previous managers failed to manage him in any positive way, instead leaving him to his own devices. The Grinch tried to be a positive and constructive staff member, but following years and years of no feedback or attempts to develop him in his role, he finally became very resentful.
As Christmas approaches, the Chief Executive announces the upcoming Employee of the Year celebrations , where the workplace gets together to nominate an annual Top Employee. While the Chief Executive looks forward to another unanimous vote for himself, Jen thinks that the answer to the Grinch’s bad behaviour is not to sanction him, but instead to celebrate him, hoping that a bit of recognition will be enough to change his ways. She requests that they nominate the Grinch, feeling he needs it the most.
With enough votes, the Grinch gets a nomination. While at first apprehensive, the Grinch appears to appreciate the nomination, until he is ignored at the event, and begins to wreck the celebration, causing mayhem. Jen feels terrible that her plan to make the Grinch feel better has been ruined.
In HappyCo, everyone is sad and distraught, with the Chief Executive blaming the whole thing on Jen for nominating the Grinch. The Chief Executive and Jen discuss the incident and realise that whilst a good idea, getting the best out of staff is not just about ‘one-off’ recognition events like Employee of the Year.
They acknowledge that the Grinch’s previous managers should not have ignored him, but instead have taken a proactive approach to his management focusing on structured development, support, and setting out clear expectations both behavioural and work-based. Soon, Jen has a frank chat with the Grinch and puts together a clear plan to resolve the issue.
For the first time, the Grinch is given regular supervision, appraisal, and feedback (good and bad). The Grinch even works with Jen to develop his first ever Personal Development Plan. This causes the Grinch to pause, confused as to the change in approach. Halfway through his first appraisal in years, the emotion gets to him, and his once shrivelled heart grows 3 sizes. The Grinch then thanks the organisation, and apologises for his misdeeds. They all then worked happily ever after.
On behalf of the Real People team, I would like to wish all our loyal clients and readers a wonderful (Grinch-less) Christmas, and a very Happy New Year. Here's to a prosperous and engaging 2015!