Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Worst Bonehead HR Mistakes

When Air Force One went buzzing through Manhattan last week, many wondered "are you kidding me?" What was supposed to be a public relations move turned into a PR disaster. HR Capitalist looks at the "worst possible bonehead HR Plays that would rival the decision to send Air Force One buzzing Manhattan in a post 9/11 world. You know the kind of bonehead play - the kind that makes you say 'are you kidding me?'":

5. Bad math/Excel skills lead to a budget number that under-represents medical costs by 30%.  Budget already approved by board.  HR pro still doesn't get what went wrong...

4.  Diversity materials featuring employee photo shoots with a 70% representation of white guys under 40.  They're well-dressed, though. Kind of looks like a JCrew photo shoot...

3. Company salary data sent to the proverbial "all employees" email distribution list.  Weak attempt to recall message follows one day later, with no global acknowledgment of the snafu.

2. HR Team wants to do flu shots, but gets cute and orders a vaccine that knocks everyone out of work for 2 days due to the strain ordered...Turns out they ordered a vaccine used for those traveling to Kenya, rather than to Nashville...

1. Swimsuit models on the cover of the employee handbook (in their work attire).

Those are all pretty boneheaded. I would add to the list Twitter's HR snafu where they accidently published the e-mail addresses of 186 job rejects. Or Radio Shack, which in August of 2006 fired staffers via e-mail with a message that read: “The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated.” But the company that takes the cake may have been Microsoft which gave some employees too much severance and sent a letter out asking for it back.  Even Michael Scott from The Office never made these bonehead mistakes.

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