3 HR Lessons from Hogwarts #Lumos

The purpose of this article is to embrace my comedic “vulnerability” of being a Harry Potter fan as a child to shed light on children that are facing very real vulnerabilities throughout the world. Hopefully, you will find “just a smidge” of entertainment in this post.

Hogwarts HR

It is no easy task managing the day to day operations of a human resources team, especially when operating in a world-renowned school of “Witchcraft and Wizardry”. Below are the first practical HR lessons drawn from the rich history of this fictitious school. I hope you enjoy this high-level overview of issues facing all of our organizations.

1) Pet-Friendly

One item I feel the HR team at Hogwarts does well is creating a pet-friendly environment. Along with the gamekeeper, one long-term employee Mr. Filch is often seen mulling about the halls with his feline companion Mrs. Norris. Forbes Magazine has shared that pet-friendly workplaces can reduce stress and boost morale. When there are “trolls in the dungeon” or endless conference calls, a quick pick me up visit from a furry friend can make all the difference. Of course, this does not align with every organization, but it is worth considering.

Policy Tip: Your policy should have a zero tolerance for nifflers in the workplace.

2) Practical Training

A common gripe from the students was the limited practical training which could immediately be utilized for the challenges they were facing. These complaints spiked under the leadership of Mrs. Umbridge, where the students “training” consisted of long drawn out lectures (Death by PowerPoint) designed to improve standardized testing scores. Instead of embracing a 70-20-10 model, this training fell into a rut of memorization for testing purposes. Do not be reassured by high test scores, your mission should be to create a “learning organization”, one that can react and adapt to the ever-changing business environment. This can be achieved by creating a practical and interactive training strategy designed for adult “Muggle” learners.

3) Job Rotation & Advancement

Due to the unusual turnover throughout the school’s history, the HR team has done a great job at job rotations, enrichment, and enlargement. Professor Snape initially filled the role of Potions Master, but due to negligent hiring (Quirrell), not checking references (Lockhart), finding it to be an undue hardship to accommodate a werewolf (Lupin), and identity theft (Moody), Snape would assume the Defense Against the Dark Arts role. Sometimes your “purple squirrel” can be right under your nose. It is important to remember current employees could thrive in new roles better aligned with their strengths or evolving professional goals. When available, job rotations, enlargement, and enrichment programs can be a powerful tool to combat turnover or in some cases dementors.

Final Thoughts

Each of these topics deserves much more attention and time in any organization. You should continue to assess the needs of your team and push towards achieving your common goals.

I truly hope all of you have found your calling to bring light to a subject you are passionate about. There are so many folks in need and issues desperately requiring attention. Whether it is disaster relief efforts or transforming children’s lives around the world, I encourage you to get out and bring light to where it is needed the most.



Certain characters, quotes, and references belong to Warner Brothers Pictures, Pottermore, and J.K. Rowling.


About Lumos

Lumos is utilizing techniques to provide community-based access to health, education and social care to children throughout the globe. I realize there are a lot of issues in this world and if this is not your particular brand of “pumpkin juice”, I still encourage you to find your calling and continue to bring light to where you feel it is needed.


Author: Taylor Bradley

Taylor Bradley SHRM-CP is a global HR Business Partner for the mid-sized Seattle startup. Taylor’s career has taken him to approximately forty countries where he has encountered a wide range of approaches to talent management and employee engagement. Taylor draws upon his international experience to provide innovative solutions to workplace challenges while actively advocating for the HR industry. You can connect with Taylor on LinkedIn or Twitter @T2Bradley

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