Oh, how I wish I had thought of this analogy. John Sullivan at Workforce Online, however deserves the credit. He writes:
The movie “Snakes on a Plane” depicts the terror of being trapped in a confined space with life-threatening pythons, rattlesnakes and the like. While some might see this movie as having no connection to human resources, I see it as the perfect metaphor for the typical HR department.
(I hope you can read the entire article. It may require registration, but it’s free and you can sign up for regular e-mails about HR related stuff. I know all of you have wanted to discuss how to calculate turnover! I just know it.)
While he thinks that some people might find a comparison between HR and Snakes harsh (not me, slither, slither), he’s met many. And so have I. (Once I was even a hissing snake, but I swear the company was making a horrible decision–and they eventually came to the same conclusion I did.)
Snakes terrorize and threaten. What do you do when you encounter a snake while hiking? If it’s a coiled rattle snake you hold very, very still and you try to back off without disturbing the creature. What do you do when you encounter an HR person that is rattling and hissing about how a new program is going to ruin this/cause lawsuits/destroy employee morale? You back off slowly and she slithers back behind her rock, happy that her work is now done.
The whole article is worth reading, and those of you in HR will find yourself smiling as you label your co-workers.