Another update from the Jungle….
It’s hot and getting hotter as summer blasts into the area. Employees are grumpy and frumpy because they’re sweating even with the air conditioning going full blast. Justin almost strangles when his tie catches in a portable fan as he leans over a co-worker’s desk to flirt. But help is on the way.
Dolores, the HR rep, has a clever plan to help her co-workers. The company is run by conservative guys in suits who want everyone to be as uncomfortable they are. But finally after years of negotiations, Dolores convinces the suits to allow casual wear during summer.
Dolores sends an email to her co-workers explaining the new policy. Privately, she congratulates herself on her negotiating skills. Alas, Dolores is a bit naïve about human nature even after years in the trenches of HR representation.
The first day of the new policy, Betty shows up in a sun dress that gives a new meaning to “sheer”. Dolores can’t help but notice when Betty crosses the room in front of the windows. Dolores orders Betty to stay away from the windows for the rest of the day and to hide from the suits. She makes a note in her special file that Betty could benefit from a long pointless training seminar at a great location like Buffalo in February or Houston in August.
The next day, Justin shows up in a golf shirt, plaid shorts and flip-flops. When Dolores says business casual does not mean flip-flops, he whips out her email and asks her to point to the part saying he can’t wear flip-flops. That afternoon Dolores adds another note in her special file to tell Justin’s boss that Justin is now ready to handle the most time consuming and difficult clients that can be found.
By the end of the first week, Dolores is depressed and disillusioned. The new casual wear policy could get her fired. She sits at home slumped in her favorite chair watching re-runs of the Andy Griffith Show as she ponders her next move.
What should Dolores do next?
- She can recommend that the casual wear policy be rescinded since few co-workers are showing any common sense.
- She can revise the policy to include an extensive and detailed list of what is “not appropriate”.
- She can avoid making a decision by taking a long vacation in Antarctica to watch penguins waddle over the ice.
The above scenario is based on several actual incidents. In each case, the business casual policy was revised to add examples of acceptable attire.
If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.
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