Conflict Between Operations and Human Resources Departments

There is nothing new in the fact that conflicts between operations departments and human resource departments arise on a regular basis. Line managers always tend to disagree with HR staff in matters of work arrangement. As Glaister (2014) points out, the competencies, relationships with line managers, and the very role of human resources departments have always been brought into question by operational units. Conflicts occur in a variety of areas, from the interpretation of workplace policies to defining the responsibilities of each particular department. Naturally, these conflicts often have a negative impact on the working processes’ arrangement and the company’s overall performance. With regards to this fact, finding an effective solution for the issue is the primary task for every organization willing to stop the confrontation between its major branches.

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Expectedly, the areas of conflict are numerous and never distill down to a particular sphere or question. One of the most common issues to provoke disagreement between departments is workplace policy. Woodrow & Guest (2014) state in their research that supervisors of operational branches often demonstrate a tendency to deviate from enforcing the existing working policies through their departments. Thus, they may pay no attention at all to such important matters as absenteeism. HR managers, however, are forced to deal with this problem, for they start noticing the signs of low spirits and rather poor motivation among employees. Providing motivation for a company’s workers is, to a greater extent, a responsibility of a human resource department. Eventually, HR managers tend to express their total discontent each time their work is less effective due to the line managers’ negligence.

Another stumbling block in the departments’ relationships is performance management. A number one task for HR staff is to develop an appropriate system to handle employee appraisal and feedback (Woodrow & Guest, 2014). Again, line managers tend to neglect this system and skip the need to provide any feedback to those working under their command. As a result, HR departments’ work starts to look like a mere waste of time.

It is notable that senior managers are not the only ones provoking conflict. There are occasions when human resources practitioners take their responsibilities too seriously and interfere with the departments’ functions. Operations departments usually react aggressively to such interference, creating conditions that could lead to further conflict. Nevertheless, there is a solution to this problem: a company may always apply for training of both line and HR managers and teach them how to perform the working task better.

All in all, the problem of conflict between senior managers and HR staff can be solved if one takes a complex approach to solution matters. Training employees is an efficient way of eliminating the issue, but it has to be accompanied by additional tools and practices if it is to achieve significant results. It is crucial to create a business model that considers the organization’s structure, services, and human resources involved in a variety of tasks. If every employee knows and strictly follows his or her professional duties, conflict occurrences will be rare. Focusing attention on common goals will create a supportive environment for company workers to switch from conflicts and aim at progress. In its turn it will lead to effective resolving of possible confrontations and will stimulate a more productive operation of units.

References

Glaister, A. J. (2014). HR outsourcing: The impact on HR role, competency development and relationships. Human Resource Management Journal, 24(2), 211-226.

Woodrow, C., & Guest, D. E. (2014). When good HR gets bad results: Exploring the challenge of HR implementation in the case of workplace bullying. Human Resource Management Journal, 24(1), 38-56.

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