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Case Study - Convincing Management
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Chrm Message From: prashantthakkar Total Posts: 37 Join Date: 22/08/2006
Rank: Executive Post Date: 07/11/2006 03:48:29 Points: 185 Location: India

Dear colleagues,

I want to share this live case example with you and expect your valuable feedback on the same.

A medium sized organization (manufacturing) with around 1000+ employees on the company roll and about the same number as indirect employees employed him a Sr. Manager HR some two years back. He has more than 13 years of hard core HRD experience with the known group and was considered as a highly effective HRD man.

The set up of the deptt was total 4 FTEs including him. The major activities were time keeping and payroll, recruitment, training and development, PMS, separation and MIS. They do not have HRIS model. His other team members are very very mediocre. Earlier I thought my friend may not be correct but now after I met them personally on a few occasions confirmed my friends views.

The company is very good but has lots of internal politics. All of a sudden, other activities like administration legal issues, guest relations and many such activities have been passed on to him by the management earlier temporarily and now permanently. The person who was responsible for these has a influence with the top management and have done this deliberately. When my friend discussed this with the management, he was told that this is a temporary arrangement and that and after sometime these responsibilities will be passed on to someone else. Additionally some more activities like ISO have come to him. Management expects implementation some OD interventions also. Earlier there were no legal issues and now with the growth of the organizations these issues are also cropping up.

My friend, who is not very assertive has taken all the burden on him. Once or twice he spoke to the management for increasing the manpower in HR which has been forthrightly rejected by the management.

With this pressure in the work my friend is now tremendously under stress. As he has already crossed 45, it is relatively difficult for him to get a better change. Now he requested me to get the expert opinion of HR professionals. How can we help this person?

Are there any guidelines for the HR set up in a normal manufacturing organization on the following issues:

Which are the areas covered under HR function? (P & IR, HRD, Administration)

Norms for manning the HR deptt of the size of organization mentioned above.

Specific set up of HR deptt?

How should he go about convincing his management?


Prashant Thakkar

I expect expert opinion from all the members please.

Chrm Message From: paulthomas Total Posts: 43 Join Date: 22/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 08/11/2006 01:56:13 Points: 215 Location: India

Dear prashant,

After understanding the actual persisting problem in the case,  I am really surprised that an HR person who has put in more than 15 years of experience is not open enough to talk to people on something which would help him in his professional scenario.

The first quality of a true professional is that he / she should always think there is something more to learn everyday. It is not that somebody who is the VP (HR) cannot learn from a new Management Trainee. I will speak about my case. Having put in 10 years of experience in HR, IR and SAP HR I still feel good to see young guys and girls with less than 1 year experience in HR contributing much much more than what I was doing when I was a fresher. So whole approach has changed and people should always be open to talk to fellow professionals on any help required in this regard.

Coming back the main focus of the subject, with the change which every industry in undergoing, it is mandatory for people to take up higher responsibilities. Gone those olden days where we had dozens of people in Personnel Departments which is getting reduced to 2-3 in a big setup. Also, many companies have clubbed HR and TQM under one umbrella where both functions needs to work very closely with people and both are related to change management.

My word of suggestion would be that your friend should be very happy doing so many things which will be tremendous value addition to him and to the organization which he is part of. After 2-3 years he will become an excellent resource with tremendous exposure to so many things.

I request the others also to give in their views and especially comment on what I have said above.

Thanks and regards,

Paul Thomas

Chrm Message From: proftandon Total Posts: 101 Join Date: 22/08/2006  
Rank: Leader Post Date: 08/11/2006 01:59:40 Points: 505 Location: India

Dear Priyanka, 

This is the story with many professionals in the industry secnario these days - especially in Indian Management context.

It is here where inter-personal relationships, good net-working and strong ommunication with lot of assertiveness helps which is essential. It is also here individual's risk taking ability counts and standing upto conviction helps. CRYING BABY GETS MILK it is said and it works. He has to time and again bring up the issue with higher management whenever it is feasible without looking to be "Complaining". Quitely explore the possibility of quitting the job. Objectively and positively assess whether the work-load really means lot of stress or extra hours ?

Now, who is the boss among the HR group ?

If he is, then atleast, he should distribute work among his colleagues and monitor them. Have a strong assessment of performance there. If he feels they are medicore, he should make proper assessment of their work and at least exercise control and show assertiveness there. Management is perhaps is not sanctioning him any additional work-force because it amounts to running away from the responsibility of assessing his own team. If you, and probably you rightly say so, if he needs to learn assertiveness he should start working on it from his department.

Your other questions are situational and organization specific and can not commented in general sense.

Prof Tandon

Chrm Message From: hr.hitesh Total Posts: 32 Join Date: 22/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 08/11/2006 02:04:09 Points: 160 Location: India

Hi Priyanka & Colleagues,

I read your friends case with interest but landed up sad at the end. this is a classic case of penalising the competent which happens in all organizations. The only difference is the management has been manoeuvred into doing it by string pulling. Strategic Leave talking over some elongated period will make the managemnet realize the pivot he is in the department. And most times will have the managemnet scurrying to him. Such leave taking after a minor skirmish works wonders. This is a low brow strategy but works and has been sucessfully tried by many in the past. Taking the managemnet string puller into confidence and confiding your inability to handle the additional burden and requisition his services to lobby with the top management is other. Conflict escalation ( must be to rectifiable limit, if it involves outside people) is the third. If your friend feels he is 100% indispensable giving an ultimatum or threatening to resign is the last. Moreover, 45 is not too old an age to change jobs or get better openings if your friend is as talented as you claim him/her to be. And one advatange of having mediocre colleagues is one gets to learn a lot from their experience ( the innovative mistakes they make.)which should reflect in his resume.


Chrm Message From: robin_hood Total Posts: 18 Join Date: 22/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 08/11/2006 06:26:22 Points: 90 Location: India

In situations like these, the person should have courage of conviction. I have also handled TQM besides being head of HR.I have just one more suggestion.This gentleman can tell his bosses that he wants a legal person under him, a qualified LL.B. He should not venture into handling legal matters by himself ( unless he has a law degree ).



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