'Vampires' and 'Zombies' Terrify HR Execs

October 29, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - With Halloween just days away, a new survey of HR professionals about their performance appraisal experiences finds widespread fear of workplace "vampires" and "zombies."

A news report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) said 44.2% of respondents said they fear employees whose professional dedication was significantly lacking – labeled “zombies” – and a like amount expressed annoyance about workers who “hide in the shadows and suck dry the organization’s resources,” – labeled “vampires.”

Aliens – those workers whom no one is quite sure from where they sprang – spook 11.6% of HR professionals.

Generally, the survey found that l azy managers are the source of HR’s biggest appraisal nightmare, according to 42% of respondents. Those who are late with appraisals 25.6%, and those who generated too much paperwork and incomplete appraisals (both 16.3%) were also cited.

Some 35.7% of respondents indicated building a high-performance workforce is the issue HR professionals fear will most wreak havoc down the road for their organization. Other worries are current economic issues (19.5%), retention issues (16.7%), and retiring workers and training new managers (both 14.3%).

Asked to rate the issues they most fear on a daily basis, HR cited recruiting and pay for performance/bonuses (11.6%); succession planning and generational differences (9% each); and retention and employee appraisals (7% each).

Nearly 35% said their real terror came from handling employee problems.

The online survey was conducted in mid-October 2009 by Halogen Software, a provider of HR technology products based in Ottawa, Ontario, and covered more than 200 HR professionals. More information is available here .