HR: Where Divides Cross Paths

© 2014 AR_HRCom_HRDivide

The HR world is a busy one where several divides cross paths. We often talk about diversity: the racial, age, gender, lifestyles, physical and mental capacities divides; We live many layers of hierarchies: power divide; We see different applications of company policy: at regional, district, divisional, and local levels, put as administrative divide. As strange as it is, there is also divide among stakeholders: employers, customers, shareholders could have conflicting interests. And recently the digital divide became more apparent with its daily life implications and its link to generational divide. The business world is a puzzle where divides cross paths in, and can be mended by HR.

Who has not witnessed some type of expression of divides over the past week? I recall at least least two records of divides voiced in two or three organizations, varying from small to large entities. Voices came from various stakeholders. Issues originated from misunderstandings and lack of good faith on the part of external clients. One would think that in all instances HR should have been involved, in one way or another.
Worth noting: small organizations handle HR matters promptly and maybe abruptly. It often, all too simply, leads to dismissal of an involved employee or the subject. Structures are simple; and decisions can be abrupt or irrational at times, but they will be fast in most instances. Dismissal is the key word: Dismiss the subject, the discussion, or the individual. Done!


Larger organizations are more complex by nature. Not all involved stakeholders are going to be forthcoming. The division is clear: external stakeholders usually have the upper hand. Internal stakeholders could be in a more disadvantaged situation. It is a client/service provider divide, be it in a bank, a store, a hospital, a restaurant or a hotel, as examples. We love our coffee but if it is served cold to our taste we won't be happy. Some of us could become irate...Of course, it is an analogy. Simple things happen and can become complicated. Do businesses have to bend at all times to be client-centric? Most important: do businesses have to sacrifice their talents and profits in efforts to remain client-centric when settling business matters? On the contrary: they have to build a new culture.


No matter the cause or the source of the problem, the end result on the part of the external client is the same. HR will hear about the "incident." Will HR hear anything directly from the internal client? Most likely not. Fear is prevalent and omnipresent in large organizations. Internal stakeholders have to comply with organizational hierarchy by logic. The majority of internal clients are not expected to do otherwise and managers do not like to "sweat the small stuff". Management will handle the situation: "The buck stops here". Will it handle it correctly? Yes, per some standards criteria. Client-focused. Adequately and ethically? Sometimes questionable.

Can we go too far in being "client-focused"? Managers need to keep in mind that their clients stand on both sides of the fence. So, questionable settling if the situation creates and or contributes to at least stress if not a hostile work environment, and going uphill affecting your attrition rate and your talent management at the very least. Managers are client-centric. They often do not consider their staff as clients. Their "adjusted" decision will be client-centric not business-centric. Hear the difference. Here is where HR needs to step in. Where are our HR initiatives? Is there a balance between employee and management training? Yes? I certainly would agree. In theory. Practice differs from theory.


The HR of the present is the business partner. The HR of the future is the one who  understands the intricacies between divides and boundaries, and who can grasp related linkages in order to provide a "glocal" internal client experience. The big picture needs to be adjusted adequately to local circumstances, how trivial circumstances could sound or look. I often hear the question : "Is it your interpretation?". We all try to understand the best we can. We can think that a client-centric decision is for the best of the business. How can HR ensure that interpretations are not flawed at many decisional levels? HR is the point of intersection of divides and needs to connects the dots. In putting the pieces of the puzzle to implement the big picture, we need to remind ourselves that each individual is a "workforce of one."

En Synthèse....

Il n'y a pas de blanc et noir en Gestion de Ressources Humaines, m'avait un jour dit un manager. Gray areas existent comme l'on dirait Outre-Atlantique. ...Il n'y a pas de différence....
Mais pouvons-nous, RH,  nous permettre de rester dans le "gray area"?...

En Synthèse....


Pas de Blanc & Noir en GRH!

Il n'y a pas de blanc et noir en Gestion de Ressources Humaines, m'avait dit un jour un manager. "Gray areas" existent comme l'on dirait Outre-Atlantique. Mais pouvons-nous, RH,  nous permettre de rester dans le "gray area"?

Ce n'est certainement pas une raison valable pour confondre les employés par un labyrinthe de décisions "inconsistentes." Le client est le nombril du monde, pour ainsi dire et l'on perd de vue les employés qui sont à la merci de la politique d'entreprise, et des innombrables et incontrôlables variables. "Empowrment" a ses limites. 

Une Immense Différence...

© 2014 AR_HRCom_RHDivide

Quelle différence y-a-t-il entre correct et incorrect? La différence? Elle est IMMENSE! Alors, parlons Ethique des RH. Plutôt, parlons RH du futur. Ethique RH et GRH du futur vont de pair. Il y a une juste mesure à faire entre les besoins des différents clients, et cela ressort de l’éthique RH et de la nouvelle culture "glocale".

Dans un monde où businesses vont global, où le focus est  le client externe, et  la gestion des employés est propulsée entre les mains des managers, où les différences ne cessent de se multiplier,  l'on est en droit de se demander si les managers sont prêts à assumer leur nouveau rôle. Dans cette "glocal(e)" économie il est crucial de considérer chaque individu comme une "workforce of one".

RH du Futur dans une Glocale Economie: Point de Convergence

Les RH sont le point de convergence des différences. Les RH de demain sont plus que des business partners: au-delà des différences, les RH sont à adapter les mesures globales aux situations locales avec transpositions nécessaires. RH: point de convergence et point de chute.


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