Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mind Your Language!

Another HR issue! Well, Maybe! The way to find out is to give employees a chance to speak-up.

Board-room expletives are known and at times are also a ‘given’! The reason for being OK with it is that we assume that the people in the room are all part of the senior management and they have the right! What a dumb assumption? I’m quite sure that meetings can get heated-up, discussions can get animated, and dissent can turn into anger – all without having expletives handed out like Christmas goodies! Honestly, there are tons of articles telling us that ‘Expletives/Swearing at Work’ encourages team spirit, bonds two very distant teams, and improves morale! What the bleep!

Swearing is ‘Contagious’! It can spread from one team member to another. It’s definitely NOT gender based! Before you realize it, the entire team is talking the swear-way! It’s known to be a personality-trait! Most times it just doesn’t go well with everyone. It’s even worse, if the “I-Am-Going-To-Swear-Mood” comes from a fight with your spouse, an errant driver on the road, personal financial issues! Events that nobody else in the workplace is even involved. Using swear words is then more of an emotional-outburst! Researches have tried a poll on this one too! What’s next?!?!?

Another point to note is that, swearing is not a organization-level-based occurrence. It could happen at the front-line just as easily as it could at the senior management. Really! It’s a leadership challenge to help create a conducive and professional work environment for all to work in. You don’t need a HR Policy to tell you that swearing is un-professional! After all, you’ve hired adults who need show some discretion while using language. Releasing frustration is ok, but just because you are in a foul-mood, the other don’t need a part of it! They have their own problems to deal with.

By the way, if you choice the wrong-words in front of customers! Damn, you just lost your contract!

- The HR Store