Friday Five+: The 23 Things HR Can Learn From United 

What a week for people stuff, huh? I was thinking about this whole United Airlines deal and what a mess it has become. Then, I did the inevitable. I thought about writing one of those “The 5 Lessons United Taught Me About Leadeeship” posts. With that thought In mind, I was reminded of the critically acclaimed film, “Blue Chips,” and the legendary coach, Pete Bell. He famously says, in an epic rant, “I’ve become what I despise.” Check out this rant.

(Yes, I’m a big fan of this movie mainly because it was filmed at Indiana University when I was an over-achieving scholar. Matt Nover made his cinematic debut along with the rest of some of college basketball’s greats. Take a look at the cast.)

OK, maybe that’s a little extreme. While I poke a little fun at these posts, there really are some lessons we all can learn from current events. I’m going to keep an open mind to them, now. Well, some are just ridiculous. Especially those that try to compare the employee life cycle to running a half marathon. Really??

Back to Blue Chips. I watched this whole scene and it really got me thinking about the United deal as well as fantastic coaching rants.

In the spirit of Coach Pete Bell, I’m shaking things up, this week, and bringing you the Friday Five+ and sharing “The 23 Things HR Can Learn From the United Airlines Fiasco.”

  1. Your bias is showing. Be aware of it.
  2. Don’t let the policy manual guide your every decision.
  3. There are 3 sides to every story.
  4. Make sure all of your employees read the fine print.
  5. Make sure all of your employees understand the fine print.
  6. Make sure your employees are empowered to make practical decisions.
  7. Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish.
  8. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch.
  9. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  10. Some wheels are always squeaky.
  11. Some wheels need to be replaced.
  12. The customer isn’t always right.
  13. The employee isn’t always right.
  14. The leader isn’t always right.
  15. Money isn’t always the answer.
  16. People are motivated by different incentives. Some just want to get home, no matter how much you offer them.
  17. Don’t shoot the messenger.
  18. Measure twice. Cut once.
  19. Despite a multiple bad incidents, a brand will survive because people are selfish and they still need stuff.
  20. Social media activism and corporate boycotts are great until you need that corporation to get you to tropical places.
  21. Airlines take you to tropical places.
  22. Not everyone has the luxury to quit their job at that “bad corporation.”
  23. Everyone has an opinion. Just ask them.

I’ll be back with the Friday Five, next week. Unless there’s another lesson to be learned.



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