The hassle of managing sick leave, statutory disciplinary procedures and line managers who pass the buck are on the list of things that deserve to go in ‘Room 101’, according to leading HR directors.
More than 40 top HR executives vented their anger at the things they hated most about working in the profession at Personnel Today’s latest HR Directors Club Thought Leadership lunch.
The event was held at Raymond Blanc’s Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons restaurant in Oxfordshire.
Room 101 was originally introduced in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, and is now commonly used to refer to a place where unpleasant things are kept.
As the HR chiefs tucked into their risotto de potiron et châtaignes starter (pumpkin and chestnut risotto to you and me), they wasted no time in ranting about their peers, colleagues, organisation and the profession itself. By the second course of panse de porc braisée (pork belly), nothing was left immune to their fury, including badly dressed men.
Once the dessert of millefeuille croustillant au caramel (caramel pastry) had arrived, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) was the focus of delegates’ ire. One said: “Some people round my table have dropped out of their fellowship – due to the CIPD’s constant line of ‘why isn’t HR on the board?’, lack of legal help, and lack of discounts to members.”
As coffee was being served, delegates were left to reflect on whether the profession’s Room 101 would actually be big enough to take all the items they would banish.
The HR Directors Club is sponsored by ADP, Grassroots, Hammonds, Oracle and Totaljobs.com.
10 to go in Room 101
- Whining HR staff who think they should be on the board
- Line managers who look at HR as a surrogate manager
- Redundancy procedures
- Statutory grievance and disciplinary procedures
- Tick-box fashions and fads
- Working Time Directive
- HR jargon
- Lack of IT support
- Men with suits and shoes that don’t match.