Archive for August, 2015

What happens if they ask for help and then don’t do what HR suggests?

“So where are we at?” I asked Jason.

“Well, first, I’m going to make my line managers accountable for lifting the level of staff engagement rather than David my HR guy”.

“Makes sense” I replied.  “So what’s David going to be accountable for?”

Jason smiled.  “I think I’ve figured this one out.  David’s accountable for helping them lift their staff engagement.  I want him to be their expert, their consultant, their coach.”

“That makes sense too” I nodded.  “Now let me ask you this…what happens if they ask for help and then don’t do what David suggests?”

Jason frowned.  “Well, they have to.  David’s an expert”.

“But he’s not an expert in what they’re trying to produce.  He can’t be expected to be aware of all the issues in the area that are being dealt with.  There might be a perfectly good reason why they might not listen to him.  What do you do then?”

Jason rubbed his forehead.  “Give me a minute”.  I waited patiently.  Twenty seconds passed, then he suddenly  looked up with a smile.  “Nothing!”, he exclaimed.


“Nothing!” repeated Jason.  “If the managers don’t want or aren’t able to take David’s advice on staff engagement, then that’s their issue.  They know it’s their job to get the level up. I’ve given them the resource in David, but in the end, if they don’t need him, then there’s other things David can do that will be valuable.”

“Sounds like you’ve got a clear idea of how you want this cross-functional relationship to work.  Who’s accountable for what, and who can ask who for help”.

“Yep” said Jason.  “And I know what you’re going to say next.  I need to get them together and explain how I see it, get any input, then unless I hear something that changes my mind….implement it”.

“Nearly.  Just a couple more questions”