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Who Is the Michael O'Leary of HR?

Do you want authenticity at work? Do you really? This is authenticity (I don't mean the swearing!):


I love Michael, CEO of Ryanair—Europe's Favourite Airline—because he says it as it is. But he is not unique! You all say the same things, but you say them to your friends, family, or coworkers. I have heard all that he says from everyone I have ever worked with, but these conversations are always behind closed doors, and the moment we open the door, we smile and pretend that everything is great! And this, my friend, is the problem in organisations. 


Watching this video made me ask the question, "Who is the Michael O'Leary of HR?" Who is there to stand up to every nonsense HR professionals have ever come up with and entertain? NOBODY! Nobody is challenging any HR practice. They just all entertain their collective delusion. The three musketeers of Emma leading your HR scenes in your city, shouting about their fantastic background promoting interventions that everyone follows but also questions behind closed doors. What is this game that we are playing? You all talk about the uselessness of HR agendas you hear during these conferences, starting from appraisals to DEI, Cultural training, Wellbeing & engagement initiatives (just to name a few) yet, you all stand in line and continue doing something you don't believe, frustrates the hell out of your workforce, and wasting company resources. Why? Why is belonging to a group and being accepted more important than what is best for your employees? 


Let me tell you a secret: Emma, who apparently wants the best for the workforce and is partnering with the government and CIPD, is the same Emma who declined the entry of a highly qualified wellbeing professional who questions her "great" expertise. Is this the person you really want to follow? Who cannot stand scrutiny, so she rejects an idea that is different from hers but could help the workforce? You don't want to follow anybody! You want to hear diverse ideas and implement things that make sense for your people and organisation. 


Who is going to stand up for the millions of HR professionals out there so they don't get bullied into nonsensical ideas? Who is going to stand up and say, "My people (HR) are disrespected, overloaded, 80% consider quitting, and I cannot watch it anymore!" Who is going to give the green light to HR not to follow the crowd but to think for themselves yet be supported? Peter Cheese from CIPD should do the job if you ask me. But that's not what is happening. I expect Peter to be like Michael for his people! But nobody is talking, and HR is treated like garbage and influenced by "gurus" who managed to market themselves well, but the moment you question them, they shut you up. 


80% of what HR is doing makes no sense, and all we do is add one more thing to their agenda, making them believe that it will solve their problems. It won't! Someone must stand up and say "This is all BS, throw everything out that your business and people don't need and focus on making your employees lives better while you are delivering business results." That's there is to HR! Forget about everything else, go back to basics and figure out what is really needed because under all your agendas the basics are broken and you are just plastering over the cracks. Declutter and have the guts to stand up for what you believe or don't, and do that! Whatever that may be. 


PS: Once a wrote an essay comparing BA and Ryan Air in terms of spending on employee development vs employee engagement. What did I find? Despite BA spending £millions of development programs they have the same engagement score. LOL So much about this narrative too. 



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