Previous Article Next Article HR HartleyOn 8 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today Champagne and bloodshed in the arenaRewarding your staff is one of the essential principles of HR. Make themfeel special and wanted and they’ll work their socks off. What intrigues me, then, is the inherent adversarial nature of anothercornerstone of progressive HR – the in-house awards ceremony. You are pittingyour staff against each other in a manner that Russell Crowe in full Gladiatorget-up would be proud of. And, as far as I know, Roman warriors weren’t allowedto be fuelled by a combination of champagne and strong Continental lager to addto their aggression. I was at a swanky do at a top London hotel recently and as I stood in thetoilets (no, not handing out the towels), I listened to a chap from IT proudlydeliver the following line: “Hey, IT are going to take some seriouscasualties tonight!” The guy next to me loudly commented on how little theIT department must get out, using some very colourful language indeed. This was right at the start of the evening, and these blokes weren’t evencompeting for an award. After the ceremony had finished and the arena cleared and cleansed of blood,I was back in the loo listening to a salesman complain he had sold 32,000 unitsof something I didn’t understand, and the company could stick the award hedidn’t win right where the sun don’t shine. Sadly, methinks it’s a Catch 22. Staff get aggressive enough when they dohave an awards night – but just you try taking it away. I suppose if there’sany lesson to be learned, it’s bug the toilets, and you’ll soon begin todiscover where people’s loyalties really lie. Hartley is an HR director at large Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.