7 inspiring movies every HR professional must watch

Imagine! The aroma of a large bowl of butter-flavored popcorn. A glass of your favorite beverage. The anticipation of what could be a roller-coaster of emotions for the next couple hours!

Movies let us take a momentary break from reality and teleport us to an imaginary world on the big screen. The ongoing pandemic has been disrupting normalcy in our daily lives, and online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have presented themselves as an escape window to temporarily forget the harsh reality. But do you think movies are just a medium for entertainment? Nay! There are countless business lessons that you can derive from the silver screen than what meets the eye. Unsurprisingly, several training departments use movies as a channel for teaching management theories, leadership skills, and lessons on team building within their organizations.

As a nod to the now popular ‘Netflix and chill’ vantage point, we have taken time to wade through the vast film universe to pick 7 must-watch movies that an HR professional could easily relate to.

1. Invictus

“I am the master of my fate

I am the captain of my soul.”

Set in the 1990s, the movie Invictus is an inspirational biopic based on the book ‘Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation’ by John Carlin. Having spent 27 years in prison and then being elected as the President by the same nation that imprisoned him, Mandela is an epitome of inspirational leadership and motivation. Mandela’s ability to communicate and engage with the common people of South Africa beyond the color of their skin, during the post-apartheid era is a remarkable quality that today’s HR professionals should look up to and emulate in their workspace. You can watch the movie here.

2. The Internship

A 2013 comedy that focuses on two individuals who find themselves competing with a much younger tech-savvy generation through an internship program with google to secure full-term employment. The Internship, while being a fantastic entertainment flick, it also shows how each contributor in a team could be exceptional in their own merit. Believe it or not! Workforce diversity is what paves the way to get unique, vibrant, and extraordinary ideas to the table. A diverse skill base will enhance performance, increase creativity, and improve employee engagement. You can enjoy the movie here.

3. The Wolf of Wall Street

This movie is a perfect illustration that you can learn life lessons not just from success stories but also from failures. Based on the memoir ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ by Jordan Belfort, this particular movie recounts Belfort’s highs and lows in his career as a stockbroker in New York City. While Belfort is personified as a charismatic leader, his disregard for business ethics lands him in deep trouble. Strong ethical principles is foundational to the success of any organization and the HR function plays a key role in inculcating it and rooting out unethical practices in the organization. Here’s the link to the movie.

4. 12 Angry Men

A not-so-typical American courtroom drama, 12 Angry Men explores how a jury of 12 men reach a consensus while debating on the conviction or acquittal of an 18-year old defendant. Although members in a team are bound to have differences in opinion, a leader should have the ability to persuade the group to elicit change and arrive at a collective decision. You can click here to watch the movie now.

5. Up in the Air

This is one of those movies that is a definite watch for HR professionals. It revolves around the life of a human resource consultant whose primary agenda is to help with corporate downsizing. The movie draws attention managing lay-offs with a focus on emotional vulnerability. It is a wake-up call to business professionals that organizations are not just about advanced technology and processes, but the people per se. Explore the movie here.

6. The Social Network

A biographical account of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg – The Social Network stands as a reminder to HR professionals that some of the most eligible candidates for your job openings could be one of those diamonds in the rough – in this case, a college dropout like Mark Zuckerberg. Based on the real-life events of Zuckerberg and Facebook’s invention, this movie highlights that skills and talent, rather than a degree, should be most sought after by organizations while hiring employees. Stream the movie here.

7. The Pursuit of Happyness

This inspirational masterpiece revolves around the rags-to-riches life of Chris Gardner and his nearly one-year struggle of staying homeless. From being an unsuccessful salesman with only $21.33 in his bank account to building his multimillion-dollar brokerage firm, Gardner came a long way. He continued persistently from where he was and rose above every challenge that stood as a barrier. Such motivation and perseverance are imperative to survive in this current competition-intensive world. You can watch this gem of a movie here.

On a similar note, during such challenging times that the raging pandemic has presented to us, Neeyamo has adorned its own figurative ‘Chris Gardner’ hat and strived head-on. In an attempt to equip HR and payroll professionals to face the future, Neeyamo and a cohort of leading industry associations have set forth to host an impactful Global HR Evolution Summit – Rise Above 2020.

Neeyamo and a cohort of leading industry associations had hosted an impactful Global HR Evolution Summit – Rise Above 2020.

Watch on-demand videos where renowned HR leaders discuss how the global compliance function is changing as emerging technologies create a revolutionary impact.


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