If you’re in the mood for a movie marathon that will set the tone for the week ahead, pop a bowl of popcorn, pour yourself a drink, and settle in for these movies. We’ve come up with six favorite workplace movies that show common human resources themes in action, while providing insight to the faces behind the paperwork and policies.
1. The Social Network
This 2010 film dramatized the founding of Facebook at Harvard, touching on how Mark Zuckerberg and two classmates came up with the idea of a connected program to alert people about campus activities. From an HR perspective, the movie showed that bringing in top talent early on can often lead to great innovation. It also showed that there are consequences if you don’t have contracts as well as clear communication of roles.
2. Remember the Titans
A new coach pushes the high school football team to work hard and get positive results even if they aren’t happy about it. Have you seen this grumbling in your workplace when a new supervisor comes aboard? And have you also seen the positive results that take place when the team decides to work together after all? The analogies of working hard and taking risks fit perfectly in the modern corporate world. HR professionals who focus on “coaching” rather than “managing” may see better results.
3. The Intern
The initial “old dog learning new tricks” concept of this movie is clever, especially with Robert DeNiro playing a retired executive wanting to return to the workforce as an intern for Anne Hathaway. Looking beyond the basic dynamics, viewers will learn some great lessons about multi-generational workplaces and the value of creating a strong and friendly work environment. Where they both work is a place where everyone is generally happy to be, which includes great employee benefits and a health plan, even an in-house masseuse.
4. The Upside
A great employer-employee relationship can work wonders, especially in this unconventional drama where a wealthy man with a disability, played by Bryan Cranston, hires an ex-con played by Kevin Hart to help him push his wheelchair around town. At first, both individuals had a lack of trust and were uncertain about how to work together. But eventually, they learned how to work together and the reason it was important that they do so. It’s a good story about how friendships grow on and off the job and why going outside of comfort zones can pay off.
5. Office Space
There’s a lot to hate about the software company that Peter works for, such as required paperwork that no one really reads, cubicles that block sunlight but not noise, and routine down-sizing as a standard business practice. Equipment is never repaired, and while everyone is “strongly encouraged” to work overtime, this request comes across as required. If you work in HR, use this movie as a guide to what not to do. Instead, look for ways to make a culture stronger and positive, which can ultimately lead to better productivity. An outsourced human resourced department can help.
One of the greatest sports moments in the 1980s was the U.S. hockey team beating the USSR at the Olympics. The actual game itself was dramatic enough but a 2004 film made it even more spectacular. The movie can teach great lessons about how people with different backgrounds and abilities can be brought together for a common goal. They learn to appreciate each others’ skills and depend on one another. The actions of the coach, Herb Brooks, also made a difference – he believed in the team, and he also pushed them hard.
Once you’re done viewing these classics, consider your HR department. Does it focus on quality, or is everyone buried in paperwork and policies? Working with an outsourced HR partner who spends all day, every day, immersed in HR topics, will give your team more time to focus on employees and growing your business.
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