Drowning Employee Engagement: Lifeguards Get the Ax

by Michael Haberman on September 12, 2012 · 2 comments


This goes under my category of more stupid HR. Sometimes you just have to wonder who is making some of these decisions. Some lifeguards in El Monte made a parody video of a very popular pop song video. They posted it on Facebook. Their efforts at being engaged in their jobs were drowned when they were all fired, along with the pool manager and some others caught in the background filming.

Yes rules were violated

They did know that there was a policy about use of their uniforms. So they did knowingly break that rule. Is that enough to fire them? Or perhaps some discipline might have been more appropriate? Was the video too risqué? In today’s world? Hmmmm.. I will let you decide that one.

You decide

Watch the video below. It has over 1,000,000 hits at this writing but I am sure will go bigger. It is less than three minutes long. At the end of the video answer this question:

WWRHRD?

(What would reasonable HR do?)

Write them up? Laugh? Celebrate a job well done? Be happy you have employees who like their job so much? Or would you have fired them too?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill Ramsey September 12, 2012 at 9:51 am

2 ironies I see here:

1. These employees just handed a goldmine of publicity to their company. How many scores of parents would have taken their kids to play at this place and see “the funny lifeguards?” Had the bosses really seen the opportunity, they could have hosted a kids’ day to “meet and greet/get your photo with/get an autograph of “the “internet stars.”

–Understandably, HR would have needed to have a conversation about the rules regarding uniforms, etc., but the company could have really gotten a lift from this.

But more ironic:

2. Had this idea come from another source, it would be considered a “team-building exercise” to increase employee engagement.

Reply

Michael Haberman September 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

Bill, your number 2 is a very good point. Thanks for making it.

Reply

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