Top Human Resource Blunders of 2010

2 Feb

Human Resource Management BlunderNow that we’ve had some time to digest that it’s actually 2011 (isn’t that first few weeks of writing the year incorrectly annoying?) now is a great time to think of things not to do in 2011.  Here are some of the most notorious human resources management blunders from last year:

1. Wal-Mart fired an employee for preventing a shoplifter from leaving the store with a computer. The thief punched and kicked the employee and eventually let go of the PC, but the employee was later terminated for “violating company policy as it pertains to how we treat people in our stores.”  Wal-Mart missed a huge PR opportunity and ended up creating an HR blunder.

2. Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd was fired after it was discovered that he removed the name of a former HP contractor from expense reports. The reason? She had filed complaints of sexual harassment against the company’s board of directors.  Yet again, another CEO who acted immorally, maybe human resources management at large corporations should focus on business ethics with their leadership teams.

3. The mortgage crisis of 2010 even highlighted mistakes from HR departments of banks and financial institutions.  Many workers employed by these organizations who signed documents regarding hundreds of thousands of home repossessions were found to be less than qualified for their positions.  After investigations, HR managers had been found to have not properly reviewed their credentials. Many of those employees also admitted to signing foreclosure documents without even bothering to read them.

4. This one goes without saying, but BP’s Chairman Tony Hayward, in regards to the oil spill, whining that he wanted his life back – was one of 2010’s most memorable missteps. But we can take a lesson from Hayward’s mistake. When dealing with a sensitive situation, it’s best not to discuss your own problems.

What blunders were most memorable for you in 2010? Did you make any errors this past year that you weren’t proud of?

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