Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Edmonds School District HR Investigation Manual

Step One:
Call employee to a meeting late on a Friday and inform them they are being investigated. Give no specifics, especially if you have them. Use euphemistic terms such as “inappropriate conduct,” or “misuse of District property.”

This action results in worry-overload for the employees over the next 48-hours and in the best case will induce paranoia. Employee will wonder about that pen they have in their car and about their bathroom habits.

Step Two:
Treat employee like a pariah. Engage in secret meetings. Interview all colleagues and ensure they engage in shunning activities to test their loyalty to the District. Identify any dissenters for future targeting. This promotes further isolation of employee and can aid in triggering depression.

Step Three:
Bring employee back into meeting and verbally assault them with outrageous accusations. Make mountains out of molehills and humiliate and denigrate them as much as possible. Do not rely on any concrete evidence; just keep hammering away at conjecture, innuendo, and especially at “he said, she said, they said we said.” Remember the more insulting and improbable the accusation, the better. This will aid to break any confidence or backbone the employee may have to defend them self.

Remember the investigation is not an attempt to get at the truth, resolve any issues, or foster an environment for performance improvement. The game is to punish, punish, punish!

Step Four:
Cancel, postpone, reschedule and delay meetings as often as time allows. This will help wear down the employee as they are strung along. Stress induced migraines will cause decreased productivity and absenteeism, furthering your case against them!

Step Five:
Have employee enter into a Performance Improvement Plan with expectations meant to badger and demean. Maybe they’ll tire and quit.

If not, label employee as permanently “stained” and pass over for promotion or professional growth no matter if there is any improvement in performance.

Step Six:
Ignore all the above steps if employee has a relative in HR. If a Whistle Blower, refer to Constructive Termination Manual.

Editor's Note: My gratitude to the mystery contributor that sent along HR's playbook.

11 comments: said...

I can relate to this story. Marla invited me to a pre-termination meeting for Monday or Tuesday (I can't recall) and handed me the invitation on a Friday. Of course, my time at the District was not my own so I offered to meet immediately, but alas, it was inconvenient (and apparently outside of the playbook).

Anonymous said...

This is also commonly reffered to as the grievance process.The only difference being that you don't have the union rep. sitting there, contributing nothing.

Anonymous said...

And hire your own attorney to represent you while meeting with HR. Don't rely on the WEA/EEA people. You need a bulldog to represent you when face to face with the T-man.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you can only believe this if you have been through an HR investigation, but folks this is the way that it is done. And your friendly union representative is duplicitous in his actions. The WEA lawyer is not there to help until the district has worked you over to their satisfaction, which can be months. All of this is designed to wear you down to accept whatever settlement the district offers. The investigation is more an inquisition. You must remember these are very important and busy people with no time to deal with the problem fairly.

Anonymous said...

This describes my experience with the District perfectly (give or take some wording). I had a union representative who knew the HR supervisor we were meeting with; they chatted about mutual friends during the meeting! Talk about representation!

Anonymous said...

These people are pathetic liars!

Anonymous said...

I got one. A SEIU rep drove up in a car with Barb (food) it just didn't look good. SEIU 925 are for the workers right? I think wrong boys its time to cut your girl freinds off ok!

Anonymous said...

I'll be back January 2nd. Don't wory everyone, I will be worth my weight in gold upon return. 210lbs. of gold huh? Horse$&!T. Move to Hawaii.

Anonymous said...

Initially they will not inform you as to what you are being charged with so you cannot formulate any defense before they interrogate you. Civility and humanity mean nothing. Due process is never practiced.

Anonymous said...

Exactly who is the "Pathetic liar"?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like my experience as well. "Paranoia strikes deep; into you lives it will creep" or something like that-it was the 60's after all. In my case it was delivered on a Wednesday, "Don't come in Thursday or Friday; we should have the 'investigation' complete by Monday." Except that the 'investigation' wasn't BEGUN for two weeks, during which time I was sitting at home wondering who might possibly dare to speak in my defense. The answer, of course, was no one. Everybody was too busy staying off the radar screen trying to keep from being the next target.

It's really sad and pathetic that more taxpayers and parents don't know what's going on in the District, what a WASTE of human resources is occuring rather than the proper management of those resources.

In The Netherlands and other European systems there is no top-heavy management structure. The building is administered by a head teacher who teaches half-time. There are no "districts" per se, each building is independent and if the children are not learning (as determined by annual testing) the national government provides services and resources to correct the problem. That could include teacher training, social services to parents and students or a wide variety of issues that may be affecting the learning. Very different from the "fear and loathing" style of management exhibited here with such consistency.