Dear Friends,

I have joined a engineering project base company recently as HR head.

In my company, I face a problem of interdepartmental differences. Projects people claim to be more important than production and vice versa. Project department, Design Department and Production department, all consider support functions like Accounts, Admin and HR as least important. This is creating a tug of war kind situation between support and core functions for credibility, importance and recognition from management. This has resulted in some incidences of non-coperation and blame games. Now, the management is frustruated with this situation.

However, the common feeling among all the employees is that they want company to grow and develop. They are not understanding that support functions and core functions should go hand in hand for required result. Team building training programmes and Role effectiveness programmes have not being that effective.

Kindly guide me how to ease this situation??



From India, Ahmadabad

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Dear Ms. Sapna,
Your post is the BEST EXAMPLE for EMPLOYEE INFERIOR ATTITUDE(mentality) resulting to SUPERIORITY COMPLEX. If you want more members to suggest their views including me, You must start a new thread enabling members posting their appropriate suggestions. Please follow the "SYSTEM IN PRACTICE".
If you don't know how to start a NEW THREAD, please do let us know. Moderators will guide you.
Perhaps you need to explore this website to gather more information about its TERMS OF SERVICE, PRIVACY POLICY, etc.
With profound regards

From India, Chennai
Dear Sapna,

Your last sentence spoke volumes - "Team building training programmes and Role effectiveness programmes have not being that effective"

The sentence should serve as eye opener to all the trainers who preach team building for every organisational ill. If you had not given this statement, I am sure there would have been flurry of suggestions on conducting team building training
. Not that I am against training on teamwork. However, teamwork is output and not input that many trainers don't understand. Secondly, teamwork is output of organisation's culture. Fix the culture and teamwork will follow automatically.

Now coming to discussing the solution to your problem. Why has this problem occurred? It could be because of following reasons. Few could be within your control and few could be out of your control:

a) Frankly speaking it is weakness of your management or top leadership who started giving prominence to 1-2 key departments when the company started. Now it has become part of your organisation's culture to give step-brotherly treatment to supporting departments.

b) What about having strong process centric approach in executing work of every department? When I say "process-centric", I mean going beyond ISO 9000 standards. There has to be well-defined processes for every single department.

c) Next thing is about job rotation. I doubt it is also implemented. Job rotation removes blinkered view of the department. Make a job rotation plan and implement vigorously.

d) Conduct the training on "How to Build Organisation's Culture?" It is the culture of company that fosters the growth of the company.

e) Another important training to all the department heads required is on "How to Create Positive Conflict?". Conflict handling is not just sweeping under the carpet giving a semblance of false harmony. However, managers must be capable to eradicate negative conflict and substitute positive one in its lieu. It requires tremendous maturity on the part of managers to do this. It is no easy task as managers need to learn how to allow juniors to challenge their views.

f) The next important training is on organisation's values. Your problem of 1-2 departments dominating other departments is because they are not told "fairness" as organisation's value. Every manager, howsoever, smart he/she may be should have value-based management style. How can your organisation's value allow discrimination based on function of employee?

g) As an interim measure, start showing how support function also contributes to the cost-saving activities and it is not just few key departments.

h) Another interim measure to calculate cost of attrition. Do you have figures that show that attrition is more in support function than in core functions? If yes, then use it as tool to show that revenue generation is important however, controlling revenue leakage by controlling attrition is also equally important.

There are few other things and typing the whole thing is little cumbersome. You may give me call and we shall discuss the matter further.


Dinesh V Divekar

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

From India, Bangalore
Dear Dinesh,
Thanks for your valuable inputs. I am planning to try Job Rotation and few training programmes on Managing culture and Positive conflict with some different trainers.
However, Can you please brief me about how to implement process centric approach in executing work.
Also can you please provide me contact details of good trainers in these topics in Pune??
Looking forward for your response.

From India, Ahmadabad
Dear Sapna,
I often travel to other cities for conducting training programmes. I can conduct training programmes for the managers of your company as well.
It was me who offered you the solution of training on positive conflict or organisation culture therefore, ideally I should be given a chance to conduct the training.
If you hire my services, you would be dealing with training provider directly. I don't outsource training further to anyone else. This itself will bring down your cost as you would be eliminating the commission of the middle-persons.

From India, Bangalore
Dear Sapana,
Your problem of 'They are not understanding that support functions and core functions should go hand in hand for required result.' itself has solution for the same.
If departments are not understanding the importance of other department, then, take one/two key people from each department and ask them to conduct session of work flow and its importance from business point of view before all the other department. It will take time and shall require to take consent of key people and management. However, it will help in understanding the need and importance of other department.
Moreover, you may explain your management not to give prominence of one deptt over other.

From India, Surat
This is a real internal threat to an organization and should be addressed immediately. The race for one-upmanship has always existed and will remain so forever. One has to bear in mind that no one can change individual mentality and behaviour.
The immediate step I would recommend is to chart down a Job Description of each Department detailing every role, task, duration, duty, responsibility, reporting and end of task exit policy where it\'s required to pass on the document or information to another department. Identify connectors among departments, the work, information and document flow system and lay down stringent rules and ensure every employee adheres to the same. You might need to re-visit the organization chart. This process might take some time, but should prove fruitful.

From United Arab Emirates, Dubai
Dear Sir,
I endorse your reply and its worth billion dollar because it is the fact.
Dear Sapna
You need to focus on WORK CULTURE promoting PROFESSIONAL APPROACH, POSITIVE ATTITUDE/BROAD MINDED MATURED NATURE and how best you can educate your employees on the practical concept, WHY, WHERE, WHY & HOW to demonstrate the ATTITUDE of "I" & "WE" in your organisation.
With profound regards

From India, Chennai

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