Advice

Could HR solve...? Killing Eve

6 Jun 2019 By Eleanor Whitehouse

A British security service worker becomes unhealthily fixated on her assignment

The problem

British MI5 agent Eve Polastri becomes obsessed with capturing psychopathic assassin Villanelle. She goes behind colleagues’ backs and even lies to her husband about her whereabouts in an effort to track down the charismatic killer, which puts her own life at risk. How can HR ensure this unhealthy obsession doesn’t interfere with her wellbeing?

The solution

As the saying goes, ‘find a job you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life’. This might be the case for some, says Kate Cooper, head of research, policy and standards at the Institute of Leadership and Management, but HR has a duty of care to ensure that job doesn’t become so all-consuming that it’s detrimental to the health of the individual, or their colleagues.

“The person’s line manager should be the first to notice obsessive behaviour like Eve’s – for example, working longer hours and replying to emails 24/7,” says Cooper. “So HR should make sure line managers are briefed and watching out for such behaviour, and that they know how to report it.”

Blanket procedures on the use of mobile technology can also undermine flexible working polices, adds Cooper, so HR should ensure it reminds employees about the importance of work-life balance, and actively encourages them to switch off.

“A variety of exercise options included within benefits packages, as well as regular social activities across the organisation, could help to achieve this.” 

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