As 2022 winds down, our EntertainHR blog approaches its eight-year anniversary next month. As we’ve adapted to the new world of work—be it remote, hybrid, or in person—HR pros gain new perspectives on what not to do in the workplace. Situations from TV, film, and pop culture serve as prime examples on how to conduct yourself in the workplace.
We’ve collected our to 10 most viewed EntertainHR posts from 2022. Check them out so you can avoid workplace faux pas in the new year!
10. Offensive Language and Physical Violence in the Workplace: Was Will Smith Justified in Hitting Chris Rock in the Face?
The 2022 Academy Awards an incredible amount of attention all thanks to an off-color joke by Chris Rock, which was immediately followed by Will Smith marching onto the stage and slapping Rock in the face. For HR pros, it’s a best practice to consider how to address such policy violations based on the circumstances as a whole, including the employee’s history of past offensive behavior.
While Obi-Wan failed Anakan Skywaker as a Jedi Master, he succeeded in preventing Luke from turning to the Dark Side. Mentors—ideally employees whom the employer has chosen for the role because they demonstrate qualities the employer wants other employees to emulate—can help ensure continuity in an employer’s workforce in terms of employee retention and institutional knowledge.
On August 9, 2022, Serena Williams, the undeniable G.O.A.T., said “Farewell to Tennis On Her Own Terms—And in Her Own Words,” in an emotionally riveting article for Vogue magazine. In the article, Serena recounts her realization that she wants to grow her family. In doing so, she realized that this choice means that, she is “evolving away from tennis.”
7. How’d You Like That Super Bowl Halftime Show? Viewers’ Varied Reactions Underscore the Generational Differences in Today’s Workforce
The Super Bowl halftime show was viewed by over 29 million U.S. households and featured a lineup of 90s hip-hop royalty, including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, and 50 Cent. That said, there were a wide range of reactions to the show depending on which generation you asked. Beyond igniting arguments about taste in music, generational differences can also create conflict in the workplace.
In God’s Favorite Idiot, Netflix puts a new spin on the workplace comedy. Of course, with the fictional world on the verge of an apocalypse, the employer may soon have bigger problems on its hands than a lack of internal processes and employee accountability.
Kanye West’s anti-Semitic comments on Instagram and Twitter have prompted a swift backlash by businesses formerly associated with the rap and fashion mogul. In the employment setting, of course, employers have the right and obligation to address and prevent racist, harassing, or other harmful comments and behavior by their employees.
4. Incessant Fighting Among Bravo’s Real Housewives Illuminates the Need for Employers to Defuse Drama at Work
The in-fighting among the Real Housewives has sadly become the raison d’être of the franchise, and the vitriol spills over online immediately after each episode with viewers taking sides about which ladies they love and which ladies they despise. If your employees become embroiled in a fight, you can look to the mistakes from The Real Housewives to address the issue fairly and prevent future workplace drama.
“Quiet quitters” have been around for about as long as there have been jobs to do. Think George Jetson getting busted by Mr. Spacely for sleeping on the job. Think Randal from Clerks. Think Maynard G. Krebs. Think Peter Gibbons from Office Space. If you haven’t touched base with your employees for a while, it couldn’t hurt to reach out because they’re hearing about the quiet quitting trend.
Melanie Lynskey, a star of the new Showtime series Yellowjackets, recently recounted an incident in which a coworker allegedly criticized her body on set. Employers should treat all employees with respect, regardless of their weight, and evaluate employees based on their job performance, not a number on the scale.
Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver, can be combustible. As fellow HR nightmare Ron Burgundy would say, “Well, that escalated quickly. Employers get themselves prepared now so any difficult situations resolve safely, with folks no worse for the wear than absolutely necessary.