This is how HR initiatives sound to me: Don't bother with your diet and eat healthier just take supplements. Only supplement companies would say that because their interest is to make money from your bad eating habits.
Organisational initiatives related to people always sound like that to me. Don't bother solving toxic managers we just run a mandatory training on how you can manage your burnout, anxiety, fear, or depressive symptoms caused by poor leadership.
Don't bother reducing the workweek to five days (GCC) for blue-collar workers when we can provide them a dinner once a year. Or, don't bother integrating employees who live in staff accommodation into the city by abolishing the concept of staff accommodation instead, take them on a bus tour as part of your induction so they can see where they live.
Let's not address the long working hours, low pay, dinosaur management style and old-school mindset in the hospitality that resulted in severe staff shortages instead, let's put out some Tiktok campaign only to lose those people within a year.
Let's not set boundaries (written in the management contract) between the management company, hotel GMs, and owners around reporting lines and staff welfare instead, organise team outings to mediate the impact of owners' greed. Our GMs are eaten alive by the owners and operators throw them to the wolves. Instead of increasing headcount and high turnover, owners would say "Give an extra meal in the canteen." Going againts the owner and standing up for the workforce would mean losing the contract so operators are okay with sacrificing their employees for pipeline growth.
Let's not train managers and leaders how not to stress the workforce out instead, let's train employees how to manage the stress. How does it even make sense????
Does HR have the power to go against the grain? No, they don't. They are shouted down by the owners because let's be honest here, making the necessary change will cost (in some cases) and that money could be invested in new businesses. That's a no-brainer from the business perspective. If I am a business person who understands that "there will always be financially dependent people who will do the job no matter the circumstances" I will always invest my money in new businesses instead of people. This growth mindset that we are so eager to push results saving and in investing money in new businesses.
Do you know what else saves you money? Not doing any of those HR initiatives that solve no problem. Save that money too because all they do is insult people's intelligence.
People don't need Jennifer to give a big speech about how much we are appreciated or organise yoga classes under the umbrella of well-being while not being able to fight the owner who puts 3-4 people in one room to live.
I don't need to be shouted at by the COO because we have organised a money collection for our colleague so he can have his surgery because his insurance didn't cover it. I was shouted at on Tuesday and on Wednesday HR gave a speech that we are a family. I just left the town hall right there and then.
If you cannot address real problems then it is better to do nothing and admit that we cannot do it. I totally understand that sometimes businesses want to grow exponentially and that will have an impact on the people. But then, we need to have that conversation and say, look you guys, we can provide you with the basics because the business is focusing on....... People are not stupid, they will understand and then can decide if this is what they need or something else. That is at least honest and respected. Lies and fake intentions are not.
PS: This is why I say, HR is not in charge of the workforce, HR is in charge of food and entertainment. So maybe it is time to adjust their role and salaries accordingly. We don't need CHROs and VPs for this. HR put themselves in this mess and they cannot find the way out. The only way out is honesty my lovelies because we can see reality and the longer you pretend otherwise the worse you look. HR is also thrown to the wolves. Who isn't????