Thursday, June 28, 2012

1984, Instant Replay and HR

In his classic book 1984 George Orwell imagined a world that monitored every facet of society. Nothing went unnoticed...and everything was fixed appropriately. I loved the book, but shudder at the thought of a real Big Brother staring down at my every move. Who would ever advocate for someone reviewing every one of my mistakes and making corrections? That doesn't seem natural.

In modern sports we have something called instant replay that helps ensure we notice every mistake and fix it appropriately. I'm a huge fan of instant replay because I want the officials to make sure the right decisions are made. Who would ever advocate for someone not to review mistakes and make corrections? That doesn't seem natural.

Documentation for HR
As an HR practitioner I have long valued good documentation. When bizarre behavior pops up in the workplace, it is the documentation that helps clarify the details of what actually happened versus the emotional responses and hidden agendas that can get in the way of the truth. It really would be much easier if we simply recorded everything that happened each day, so that when an issue popped up we could simply check the video.

Wait a minute...what did I just say?

How About You
What do you think? Instant replay in the workplace? Perhaps someone will develop a mobile app for that so I won't even need to come into the office anymore. But I'll still "be there."

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

photo credit photo credit


  1. Agreed! I preach documentation, sometimes to the choir, sometimes to the reluctant sinners white-knuckling the pew in front of them. Nobody ever realizes its value until they need it.

    1. Thanks Scott. Documentation is we get it is a whole other dilemma!

  2. Documentation of the positive results and actions is every bit as important. Not just in terms of business results, but in terms of positive impact behaviors. It helps reinforce the value.

    1. I agree Tim. My dilemma is, what do we do about video surveillance? Is this the future of employee relations documentation?

  3. We have video in our stores. It has proved invaluable to me in dealing with employee issues.

    I do lots of training on documentation. It's so important that we create historical record of the happenings that can withstand legal scrutiny. I get frustrated at the subjective editorializing. We are fortunate to have an online performance management system so we can audit and fix things before they are presented to employees and/or become final record.

    1. We too have extensive video surveillance in our new hospital. It may be that it becomes a more regular part of our employee relations work moving foward.