“Bow Down” — HR Lessons from Beyonce

Confession time … I don’t really like Beyonce. She is undeniably talented and beautiful — but she doesn’t inspire those fan-girl feelings that make me think of her like a BFF in my head the way I feel about Jennifer Hudson or Mary J Blige.

On a scale of “suck” to “awesomesauce” … Beyonce gets a “yawn” or “meh” at best.

But I’ve always given her lots of props for managing her career and public image. Her camp keeps her private life absolutely, positively private. And her image has always been a positive one — no nips or other slips coming out of limos, no drunken shenanigans and anything that looks like a scandal is handled before you can say Olivia Pope!

Her marketing and PR team earn every dime they are paid.

Which is why I was shocked and disappointed to see the morning news coverage last week criticizing Bey for the lyrics and language in her new song “Bow Down.” You can google it if you want to hear the whole thing or read the lyrics … In sum, there’s a lot of b-word dropping and threats to smack up ‘tricks’ in the club.

It’s a far departure from “Independent Woman” and “Single Ladies” and “Girls Run The World” and the person who said she formed an all-female band for her tour because she believes in the importance of female camaraderie and empowerment … When did the rest of us go from that to jealous, hater bitches who should bow down??? As someone who isn’t sure of who Beyonce is as a person and an artist, it leaves me feeling confused and put-off … Not good, Bey. Not good.

Funny thing is HR does the same thing to our employees every day!

We talk like we’re all about employees and process and fairness and forward-thinking … But when push comes to shove, we’re critical of processes, intolerant of people, we turn a lazy eye to inconsistent practices and we’re stuck in our ways … Then we wonder why no one understands us. We wonder why no one wants to work with us. We wonder why we’re not included among the power players in our organizations and industries.

So we get angry at the HR haters and those not giving HR proper Propers … But instead of writing harsh songs, we write angry memos and restrictive policies and conduct condescending trainings to remind people how important we are and how they can’t do anything without us.

For the people who already love and respect HR, it rolls off their back or goes over their head. But for the people out there who are on the fence about HR and its significance, it only confuses and turns them off more … Not good, HR. Not good.

Bow down? That’s not going to happen … Instead, let’s stand up and walk our talk. Then we won’t have time to worry or care what the haters say.

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