Is HR just newspeak?

Is HR just Newspeak?

I was reading an article in the Guardian. Yes, I know, the Grauniad. Don’t worry it won’t happen again any time soon. But this one made me stop and think. The premise of the article is that HR produces mind control by its murdering of the English language in a style that George Orwell wrote about in his book 1984. We rightsize, we offboard, we streamline. Do we always treat employees as humans? Are we the ‘Borg collective’ (one for you Star Trek fans) seeking to homogenise and remove the very humanity of the organisations we work in? That’s what the below excerpt from the article suggests. 

HR is not explaining away murders, but it nonetheless deliberately misuse language as a sort of low-tech mind control to avert our eyes from office atrocities and keep us fixed on our inboxes

Bringing the Human back into HR

Whilst I think the above is over egging it somewhat and the article as a whole exaggerates the power and control that HR has over an organisation, it does have a small ring of truth about it. I’ve worked in teams where buzzword bingo is a daily occurrence; who can butcher a sentence within an inch of its life without actually saying anything. But to be fair they have been in a minority. Most HR professionals are reasonable people who are trying to implement the mandate they’ve been given (note given, not made up for themselves) the best way they know how. 

At Cornerstone Resources, we will always speak in plain English. We will tell you what’s happening, even if that’s not what you want to hear. If you like the sound of that, give us a call and we will be happy to chat through your needs on a no-obligation basis. So for now, I’ll put the Orwellian references to one side and will just get on with some good honest work (in plain English). 2+2=4 here (not 3 or 5)

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