Over the last 20 years devolution of the HR function has started to occur within organisations bringing the responsibility back towards the Line Manager with the HR professionals within a supportive role. There are many reasons as to why this change is occurring, Torrington & Hall (96) describe the reason for this as “HR activities need to become more aligned with the wider business objectives & more internally proactive” This underlines the importance that change can have to an organisation & that it should be used to benefit.
With the increase of the HR function moving towards line managers it can be seen there is a need for the function to have a more strategic focus. This has led many organisations to question; How it can reduce the time spent on processes, can it save money & how can it improve the organisation long term? In order to make the processes that a organisation undertakes more streamlined & faster it is vital a review is undertaken by both HR & managers to look at where problems are occurring, why they’re happening and how they can be solved.
Finding problems ; looking to sort them proactively together will enable them to move forward quicker. This concept is reiterated by Nicola Mindell (1995) who says: “Without Line managers buy in & involvement, it is almost impossible to meet the challenges posed by changes. ” Being proactive will enable organisations to stay ahead of the game, a way in which this can be done is by involving staff, asking for their ideas ; involving them as much as possible as this could generate more creative ways of thinking. Through involving people early it could lead to innovation.
With the pace in which organisations change and they way in which certain markets fluctuate, dealing with change is a necessity in strategic performance as without it organisations could find themselves behind without being able to catch up. Decision making involving line managers can improve the way in which processes are done, the time it takes ; help towards saving costs. As line managers have experience in performing the roles and work along sided the people that do them they can identify where mistakes are made, how to correct them, what people are exceeding at ; how to further embellish that.
As the line managers know the role, the formulating of roles ; person specifications can be done to fit in with what the organisation is looking for, monitoring is easy as they can do it from a short distance compared to HR ; consultancy could be quicker ; to the point. HR ; line managers working together has potential as it will allow the thought process ; ideas to be generated between the two, this could lead to the two forming a great working relationship which can lead to further success.
Planning ahead is something that all organisations look to achieve but including line managers can help further as with the experience ; monitor performance regularly. Also reviewing is essential as it allows them to see a return on investment ; give direction for future implementation. With many organisations downsizing cost has been a factor in moving the responsibilities of HR to the line, through doing this it will allow organisations to run cheaper ; more efficient, although they need to make sure that finance is controlled as downsizing too much could have an adverse affect.
Using support mechanisms between the two would be vital to enable them to make sure work is being done correctly and help with them becoming organised, this organising is described by Krulis-Randa (1990, p27) as being: “Wherever possible, devolving responsibility for people management to the line manager, the role of personnel professionals being to support & facilitate line management in this task, control it. ” This underlines the need to let line manager have the responsibility and let HR support, but through their support the line managers can grow.