The smiles on the faces of HR workers are broader than ever as at last they are being recognised for their outstanding work, for the first time in 364 days! But there are clouds on the horizon – apparently there’s no A4 in the office – not that anyone has been there for a while – and celebration drinks seem a bit quieter …
The big day is here. The excitement is terrific. Emojis of balloons float across the Personnel Today Twitter feed. Brave people are climbing ladders to attach street bunting to lampposts. Passing motorists beep their horns. From Bogota to Berlin, London to Luzhou, Warsaw to Winnipeg (enough cities, Ed) the champagne is flowing, and people are partying like Everton football supporters suddenly freed from the threat of relegation (but with less abuse).
It is International HR Day and of course we’re being a bit facetious here. HR professionals should certainly be appreciated and everyone deserves their day in the sun.
The big day itself was only created in 2019 and is the work of the European Association for People Management. Its purpose is to recognise, publicise, and showcase the work of HR and while there is no partying, no street bunting, no news bulletin headlines, there is plenty of Twitter action with lots of colourful gifs and expressions of love and appreciation.
Happy International HR Day to all my brilliant colleagues, past and present! These last few years have been a challenge and a learning curve! Thankyou for always being supportive and just doing the best we can and ensuring staff are always the priority in every decision! pic.twitter.com/XrbzxmU13P
— MaxineMcB (@MaxineMcB1) May 20, 2022
However, what with our crowded calendar, International HR Day has competitors for our attention. For example, there is also quite a buzz around World Bee Day, and in the US, National Quiche Lorraine Day. At Personnel Today we feel that given insects’ importance to life on Earth, HR Day should be humble when it comes to the order of precedence but has a good claim to more relevance than quiche of any variety (and certainly not one our prime minister has not heard of).
Away from the champers, apparently HR ought to be worried about theft from offices. From party poppers to party poopers you may say”
Gautam Sahgal, CEO of benefits platform of Perkbox, is certainly not letting worries about the future of bees – or developments in the quiche world – dim his enthusiasm for the future of HR. He tells Personnel Today: “Now, as we celebrate International HR Day, evolved ways of working beckon a new challenge. HRs are seeking to build a sense of culture within organisations that are becoming increasingly borderless.”
Echoing points recently raised by Gartner he adds: With access to a remote talent pool in any location around the world, businesses must find ways to create an inclusive culture that unites people no matter where they are.
“Enabling colleagues and business leaders to recognise the great work of their remote colleagues is one way to build this alongside ensuring that everyone has equal access to the support and benefits that will improve their employee experience.
“It’s a big task to tackle, but if implemented correctly, will ultimately help to create a more agile, attractive workplace with a culture that people want to be a part of.”
“Here, here” you may well bray. But even on this most celebratory of days HR must not let its hair down. Away from the champers, apparently HR ought to be worried about theft from offices. From party poppers to party poopers you may say.
The stationery is not stationary
Yes, a survey by enterprise resource planning specialist Intact Software, has found that almost four in 10 (39%) of workers admit to having taken office supplies without permission, “representing a huge chunk of the British workforce” it tells us.
“Stationary” is the most appealing type of office equipment for our UK participants to take home (64%), according to this devastating report’s press release. This is confusing but I suppose most stationery is stationary until one removes it from the office.
Surprisingly, 13% of UK workers stated dissatisfaction with their employer as a reason to have stolen work equipment and more than half of employees surveyed (53%) said their employer doesn’t have a system for tracking office equipment. Perhaps this is where Intact Software steps in, but Personnel Today wonders whether such figures might give firms pause for thought before promoting any further return to the office – or perhaps tell employees “come back to the office, there’s lots of paper and printer ink here!”
‘It’s my round. Not’
With so much hybrid working I think we can discount stationery theft from HR’s to-do list. But yet more shade is being cast on HR Day. And this time it’s serious.
It concerns booze. Apparently, 14% of the UK’s employees avoid buying others drinks at work events, because of slow reimbursement times and reduced budget. Just Eat for Business’ Inconvenient Expenses study surveyed more than 2,000 workers about expenses and found that while 15% have been asked to cover expenses at a work event, 9% weren’t given enough budget to cover necessary costs, such as travel and drinks. And the cost of living crisis means that one in 10 now avoid buying any drinks at work events.
Just Eat suspects that slow expense paying systems are responsible. Lucy Cantan, sales and partnership director at Just Eat for Business, says: “Completing and processing admin for expenditures such as lunch or work dinners can be time-consuming for all involved. However, it’s really important that everyone receives what they’re owed and continues to benefit from paid-for meals and travel costs.”
This is particularly true on International HR Day, one feels.
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