Critical HR issues in the devolution of people management duties to line managers.

With a new normal and continued  unprecedented global events, organisations are requiring their HR teams to act quickly and more strategically in terms of how and to what extent devolution of HR tasks to line managers are to be deployed.  In such markets, line managers will be required to meet operational targets and they will be pressured to do this with less staff and smaller budgets.  The challenge for HR will be to continually build a business case around the devolution of HR tasks to line when their own areas are pressured to cut costs and do more with less.

Greater devolution of tasks to line managers may more than ever be seen as a quick cost reduction method of reducing resources in HR. HR will be challenged to maintain a centralised model and managing outcomes of the decisions made by line managers as a result of the devolving of tasks. Its greatest challenge would be implementing robust systems and processes to ensure corporate equity is maintained and that line manager’s move away from the silo mentality when undertaking people management duties.  Issues of corporate equity such as pay increases will impact other line managers and their staff and could have a ripple effect across the organisation.

The power of managers and why and how their power may influence the issues identified above.

Internal stakeholders  include key managers who have been delegated formal decision-making powers by the CEO.  These stakeholders are responsible for making decisions that enable an organisation to achieve its goals.  The use of power by these stakeholders can also positively or negatively impact on the organisation culture. Misuse of power by this group could also legitimise the misuse of power organisationally and greatly affect the people that work in them.  This is why it is critical that HR adopt effective tools and training programs to support line managers in the effective management of their people.  Employees are considered as key ‘stakeholders’ in corporate citizenship endeavours (CCI), employees if not treated effectively can become disengaged, resign and even tarnish the reputation and brand of an organisation by attracting negative public and media attention and take legal action.

With the current volatile market, HR more than ever will need to build value based business cases that are strategically aligned with operations and ensure risk management strategies around the governance of stakeholder interests, particularly those of employees and customers (corporate social responsibility) address important implications concerning how corporate strategy and operations integrate if it’s to engage line managers in the uptake of HR duties.

Read our post on 6 approaches you can implement for the successful devolution of people management duties to line managers

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