Opening HR’s door to front-line concerns (editorial)

By John Hobel
Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/07/2001

How does HR balance its management role with the concept of being an advocate for employees — or even a defender of staff?

Depending on organizational culture, HR’s responsibilities to clients will include varying degrees of involvement with senior management, middle managers and front-line employees. On one end of the scale there are organizations that use HR to keep the lid on an adversarial workforce, at the other end are those that encourage employees to seek assistance and guidance from HR regarding problems in the workplace such as harassment, conflicts with managers or health and safety concerns. Most organizations are somewhere in between — interested in employee concerns but more focused on providing support to the senior team and assisting line managers.