The paper "Human Resources and Workplace Issues at the Movie The Devil Wears Prada" is a wonderful example of an assignment on management. The film showed several workplace issues about the work environment, manager – subordinate issue, and inter-personal relationship issues between co-workers. The work environment depicted in the film is a very professional, goal-oriented organization and full of pressure, not to mention the fact that the employees “ feared” the editor-in-chief, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). This consequently leads to problems in communication since Miranda’ s opinion was all that mattered. There appeared to be no way that the employees could speak their mind and their goals were all about not disappointing Miranda, otherwise, they were either fired or they quit. This situation implied a high personnel turnover rate for the position that was filled up by Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway). Another issue depicted in the film was when Andrea went in for the interview. At one point prejudice was shown because she was not dressed according to what the usual employees wore, considering that the organization was involved in the fashion industry. Respect for an employee or subordinate’ s life outside office hours was also an issue presented in the film. A scene where Miranda called Andrea to find a plane for her to get to her kids, and when Andrea failed to give her what she wanted, Miranda blamed her for it. The fact that Andrea was already outside the office, and that the matter was more personal than work-related, clearly depicts an issue on the limitations involved with the subordinate – manager relationship, and poses risks to the emotional and personal wellness of the employee, in this film, Andrea’ s wellness as an individual. The part where Andrea was making the science project of Miranda’ s daughters is also an HR issue because this is no longer part of Andrea’ s job description as Miranda’ s assistant. Describe a particular incident/ issue that you feel is particularly important and relevant to our class (Management of Human Resource) The most important issue in the film I believe is the lack of human resource personnel who is responsible to look after the welfare of the employees and the organization as a whole. Although Emily played to be somehow the HR personnel, she too, also sacrificed her wellness in order to fit in the organization and be able to reach her goals in the company. It was depicted in the film that she tried to remain slender so that she will be able to go to Paris with Miranda. When she trained Andrea on her first day, she just showed her the daily routine in the office and expected that Andrea will be able to adapt to the environment on her own. The lack of the HR personnel also led to the conflict of Andrea being picked by Miranda to come with her to Paris, instead of Emily. The approach done by Miranda is not agreeable, especially for someone who has more authority to decide on that matter. A better approach may have been her, telling Emily herself and not just instructing Andrea to inform Emily in a very casual manner. Another part of the film that showed poor communication due to lack of ability to manage human resources was when Miranda named a different person as the president of the fashion company that they tied up with, instead of Nigel who has been loyal to her for so many years. This is also a demonstration and consequence of the organization’ s lack of HR personnel who is supposed to protect both the company and the employee’ s interests and professional growth. Good human resource management involves the proper written communication from the top management to the subordinates to prevent any conflict between employees of the same levels. Given that competence could have been an issue, it is still important that management decisions be executed in a professional manner and sensitive information be disseminated objectively. It is true that in the film Andrea had the choice, but Miranda should have owned up and taken account of that decision because she had authority over both Emily and Miranda. Discuss how the incident/ issue is handled in the film and how this impacts the people/ organization Both incidents, of Miranda, not owning up and being responsible for her decision resulted in conflict between Emily and Andrea, and the other was Nigel’ s great disappointment on Miranda’ s attitude and lack of sensitivity to the employee’ s needs. What Miranda did to Nigel opened Andrea’ s eyes to the kind of manager Miranda is. Miranda showed no appreciation and respect for Nigel’ s loyalty to the company. Miranda’ s poor or lack of the ability to manage and relate to people, and the consequences that her job cost her convinced Andrea to leave the organization. Assess the handling of the incident/ issue and explain why it is a good or bad example of what an organization should do. Miranda’ s handling of issues relating to communication with her subordinates is a bad example of what an organization should do. Further, the way she treated her subordinates is uncalled for from someone who has authority, because she refrained to recognize that the people she worked with have lives other than work. Miranda could have been a good example of how a leader should be, firm, goal-oriented, disciplined, and creative, however, she does not know how to manage and deal with the people around her. In a way, she is the kind of boss who is not a team player. She does not have the ability to relate and communicate with subordinates, other than to be able to get what she wants.
This kind of personnel management led to Miranda losing one of her best assistants in the company, and also losing Nigel as her friend. Communication and transparency between those in the top management and the subordinates contribute to the achievement of a harmonious workplace and the organization’ s goals. Top management, like Miranda’ s position, must be capable to acknowledge and appreciate quality workers to motivate them and inspire those who are less competent to work harder. Failing to recognize that people are an important part of the organization results leads to loss of quality employees, just as how it was with Miranda.