… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

How many committees are there and why do I have to be on all of them?

I am on four committees and two sub-committees within those committees. Seriously. None of them take up that much time per se, but dude! Apparently, minion also means de facto committee volunteer. Wellness & Safety (Nannies), Engagement (Cheerleaders), Green Initiatives (Hippies), and United Way (Poor performers – according to Scott Adams in his book The Dilbert Principle). Not to mention the Innovation Initiatives (Big-Thinkers) I’m involved in .

I don’t mind committee work and it is fun organizing all the events, but it does take time away from more important things I could be doing. Like updating this blog. Or, you know, providing strategic value or something. I try to farm out responsibilities to other people, but the motivation and engagement isn’t there. Everyone wants to go to the party, but no one wants to serve the punch.

Frankly, I think committee participation can lead to a lot of good things for the associate if it is handled correctly. I think it can help build bridges between departments, foster better communication, and foster better buy-in to company ideals. I also think it is a good way for associates to demonstrate drive, develop leadership skills, and get their name out there. On the other hand, things can go south very quickly if you get the wrong people involved. So to all those motivated associates who are looking for a way to get noticed, please contact your local minion and get involved. I’m so tired of committee meetings.

4 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Anonymous :

    I can’t find where Scott Adams says anything about the United Way, can you post a link?

  • 2 HR Minion :

    Sorry about that! I should have been clear. Scott Adams wrote that in his book The Dilbert Principle. I was just linking to his blog because he has some funny posts.

    Basically he writes that if you can’t transfer a poor performer to another department you should put them on the United Way committee and make everyone suffer. Do you think my boss is trying to passive-aggressively tell me something?

  • 3 Michael L. Gooch :

    Boy howdy! I agree with your post 100%. In my recent book, I detailed the ‘types’ of meetings that are held and then listed the attendees. If you don’t mind I will share them on your blog.

    1. The facilitator or leader. This is the person who has called the meeting (or allowed it to continue) and who may or may not be in control of the agenda. Suggestion: For Christmas or his birthday, pool your money (Amazon.com, $14.16) and get him The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meeting and Event Planning.
    2. Forty percent don’t need to be at the meeting because they have no input or the subject is over their heads. Sometimes this sub-group attends because they have nothing else to do and need to look busy. Suggestion: This is a hard one to solve, but I recommend not inviting them.
    3. Another forty percent actually need to be at the meeting but are distracted by the leader’s tangents, digression, and generally ill-preparedness. They leave the meeting having gained nothing but losing an hour. This is a really sad group, because they are the ones who are really running the organization and making a profit (or not) for everyone else. Suggestion: They meet alone. Cut all the others out of the loop. They’ll be happy, and the company will be more likely to make money.
    4. Ten percent are the village idiots. They’re only there to show up late, disrupt, ensure digression, ridicule, polish their comedic skills, and generally upset the other eighty percent, thereby ensuring that the facilitator will have to call another meeting where, again, nothing will be accomplished. Suggestion: Give them something shiny to play with at the meeting. If this doesn’t work, by hint or force, they need to relocate to another village.
    5. Ten percent—the balance—feel they are just a little smarter than everyone else. They’re not interested in anyone’s ideas except their own. You get the feeling that the other attendees are really just taking up space in the room as this ten percent proceeds to let you know how superior they are to you and everyone else. Suggestion: Stick to the agenda and the action plan to see how much these peacocks actually produce. This will force them to work instead of preen. Another suggestion: Pick out the know-it-alls and put them in a “special” meeting by themselves. This ‘special’ meeting will be confidential (they like this word) so the other buffoons won’t be involved. The buffoons can then have their meeting and get some actual work done.

  • 4 HR Minion :

    Wow Michael, that comment was a book itself!

    Thanks for the info!