Problems Handling Super Senior Employees - CiteHR
Ukmitra
Business Development, Employee Relations,
Infotech.tanaysk
Hr Executive
+2 Others

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Dear Sir/Mam
Recently i have joined as HR executive in an organization with NO HR department. Now the is that the organization is working from last 56 years but still they have only 30 employees and most of them are above 50 years of age. Although i am trying to understand them but still there are certain issues getting more complex. The most difficult one is the Stubborn nature of the accountant, who don\'t want to give answers to anyone. I guess he feels as i have taken his possessions like salary and compensation and others. Recently i prepared an employee detail form to be filled by everyone. He teared the form in two pieces.
Now i am not getting how to make him comfortable with me as he would be the person i have to deal with on a regular basis.
I seriously need help on this issue.
Regards
Tanay singh kulshreshtha
HR Executive
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Hi Tanay,

You have a very challenging situation but not difficult to resolve. With 50+ hot headed senior personnel, you need to play "extreme cautious politics" to get your work done.

My quick suggestion:

1. Do not introduce anything new such as one that you did, without clarity on why you are doing so.

2. Ensure that all such important stuff is done only through your management support through an e-mail or formal instruction by the owner/Director to all employees and then you doing the needful.

3. Always make it feel that the requirement is from the Management and not from you.

4. Never ever show or pretend to show that it you who are in charge and asking details. Always behave that you are but a servant of MD and you are just following instruction.

5. Oldies Head, are known reject new changes as they feel an attack to their jurisdiction. It will be your skills on how you get them do what you want to for betterment of the company.

6. Lastly, HR and Finance are old foes. So don't expect any goodies attitude form them. KPI for both dept. are designed against each other. Why! So ultimately the business benefits. You do you best in your shoes.

Good luck.

Ukmitra
Very Well advised by senior member.
I would advise please start interacting with each senior employee slowly and gradually.
Give them feeling and impression that you are also an employee and only following the instruction/direction of senior management as they do.
Your department is being created by the wish of management for the sake of system and employee betterment.
You and department is people service department.
You can ask our senior management once to have interaction with all along with you ,to have their consent.
It will require time to build up confidence and a level of acceptance for you from team members , but it is the possible way of dealing.
Please don't loose confidence/temperament in any situation be cool and tolerable with positive thinking.
Situation will get changed definitely.
All the Very Best
Thanks
Great inputs from U.k Mitra supplemented by HR@glance. It is a case of the problem of generation gap.Let us try to analyse the probable factors that precipitate this conflict as the understanding of few more factors surrounding conflicts of two different generations may help you solve the problem amicably.

These old employees must have grown along with this organisation and thus may feel, more so the accountant, that this organisation has survived for 50 years without HR and consequently may look up on you as a resource that is not needed and try to be dismissive of any initiative which you make. The other perception that must be weighing on their minds, particularly the accountant, is the perception of threat. They must be viewing you as some one who will take their place in near future as they are older and dispensable resources.Therefore they try to counter it by trying to prove that you are dispensable but not they.These may be the mental blocks which you need to remove. .

1) First you need to realize that it needs lot of patience in handling senior employees as they have die-hard habits and rigid views , But do not make a closed opinion that they are not open to change. They will welcome change once they are convinced that it helps them.Therefore patience is the key here.Do not rush to change every thing overnight.it may not happen, because you need to embark on re-engineering a mindset.

2)If you harbour any feeling that these old employees have outdated knowledge and skills and are of no value to the organisation,please get such perceptions out of your mind as they may reflect in your behaviour without you being aware of it and may widen the gap between you and them and may hamper your efforts to build rapport with them.Old employees feel that they have given their sweat and blood to this organisation and do not like a new hire to sit in judgment of their contributions.

3) You need to connect to them at personal level.Go to them and acknowledge their contribution to this organisation and tell them that you would value their knowledge and skills acquired through years of experience and that yo are there to further assist them in their efforts.This will make them feel that you are not a threat but a strength to them and may tend to respond to your initiatives instead of reacting to them as the accountant did.

4)Therefore communicate again and again with them. and engage them in more face to face communication as far as possible at initial stages of your rapport building process rather than communicating with them through intercoms, SMSs or e-mail as the people of that generation may look up on this modern methods resorted to by a new hire at far younger than their age as a sign of arrogance..Once you reach a comfortable level in communicating with them you can slowly use the modern means of communicating with them.

5) Do not commit the mistake of complaining against them to the management about their behaviour and attitude. Pleas remember that they are much closer to the management by virtue of their long association with the management and must have stood by the organisation through good times and bad times and the management must have invested their trust and faith in them more than in any one else.That explains as to why they are continuing with the company for such long years.The management too may not like to hear any complaint about them and in all probability will ask you to mange the problem by yourself.

6) If you want to introduce any policy or format, first discuss withe management about the rationale and need to bring it and obtain management's nod for it first.Thereafter suggest the management to take the senior employees also on board by arranging a meeting with them where in their concerns if any will be addressed. this way, the senior employees feel that the new initiative has got their stamp also tend to view as a product of collective decision but not your unilateral decision while the management knows that it is the product of your wisdom.

Look at this challenge as an opportunity to build a critical skill of managing different generation which has become a characteristic feature of modern day work places and which is much sought by the employers now as the modern work places have a mix of old employees, middle aged, generation - x and generation-Next.It is a key skill.

Hope this helps.

B.Saikumar

In-House HR & IR Advisor


Respected Seniors,
Thanks a lot for all of your very important suggestions.
a). I'LL definitely keep the points in mind suggested by Mitra Sir. In fact i have copied down every single suggestion and will start following it from today onward.
b). HR@glance, Sir Thanks again for your support. Surely i'll not loose my confidence as i know seniors like you are always there to support me.
c). Saikumar sir, i am Extremely thankful to you for providing me such a detailed explanations, as every single point will help me to resolve the issues in the organization.
Thanks seniors once again. Always need your guidance and support.
Regards
Tanay Singh Kulshreshtha
HR Executive
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