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Stop Being an HR Knob!

HR Knob–This is a term I do not have to define.  You all know what I mean.  Don’t suggest that you don’t.

I could say something like, “we don’t start out trying to be HR Knobs in the workplace, we just end up that way”, but that wouldn’t be true.

I think it has something to do with our training.  Too much about HR training has to do with ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, ensuring uniformity with the brand.  Performance management.  BORING!  Let there never be a complex social topic discussed at the office. Must everything always be pleasant all the time?

I get really frustrated when I see that an HR Knob has turned a perfectly unique, upbeat, effective, slightly politically incorrect team into a group of people who no longer interact well because they’ve been told to “cut it out”.

Here is an example of something an HR Knob would do.  Suppose there is too much foul language at work. The HR Knob would introduce a cute little swear jar to provide an incentive to quit.  Then the Knob would personally remove it when she/he finds out that the swear jar concept has taken on unexpected life of its own.

Sort of like this–

I dare any HR Knob to write me to remind me that it isn’t appropriate to promote the use of foul language in the workplace, or drinking in the workplace, or for that matter, that you were offended by the use of the commercial as an example. I also dare any HR folk who agrees with me to Like this on Facebook so that all your friends can see it because this might suggest you’re daring enough to break-free of being a knob!  Good on you!


  1. Bonni – This is fabulous and I love the fact of calling people out !! Keeping us all alert in HR is needed. Never step away from that !! Sincerely try my best to not be that HR Knob . . . ever !!

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