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Dear Workforce How Do We Prove the Need for Additional Hires When the Manager Ignores HR Requests

In spite of management reports that demonstrate the need for hiring new workers, our performance management section remains woefully understaffed. Personal appraisals, coupled with a huge backlog of work, indicate our workers are experiencing undue stress. The manager of the section seems to ignore our requests to hire new workers. What else could we as HR representatives do to convince him of the need, short of going over his head to his director?
August 17, 2006
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Dear Outside:

Let me start by making some assumptions. First, that both you and the manager have copies of these management reports demonstrating the need for more staff. To me, this indicates that an independent examination has been done of your performance-management staff's mission, goals and work processes, as well as their alignment to the business. Further, I'll assume that the analysis demonstrates how additional employees would help achieve greater profits/service levels in an acceptable time frame (your return on investment, or ROI).
I also assume by your statements that the section manager has not offered a satisfactory explanation as to why he believes this potential ROI should be ignored, and further that you have formally asked for an explanation and received no response.
If I am incorrect in my assumptions, then you need to go back to basics to ensure that the activities that flow from your job description actually make a difference to your organization. If not, then stop doing what doesn't need to be done. Focus on delivering value and revise the work until the section's workload matches the available manpower. This alleviates the killer stress facing your workforce. This isn't rocket science, and there are lots of things organizations would be better off not doing.
However, if my assumptions are correct, you very well may have may a management problem. From my perspective, you will gain much more by "pushing upward" as skillfully as you can.
First, meet behind closed doors with the section manager and politely explain that you are committed to your company's success, but are experiencing frustration over not having the tools to perform at a level at which you are capable. Speak for yourself, but use the data that has been gathered about the performance-management group to support your conclusions. Review what both you and the section manager know to be true: that the organization's performance expectations and your group's deliverables are critical.
Finally, indicate that the qualities you need in a manager--willingness to fight for critical resources to do the job, communicating what needs to be done to boost efficiency, establishing priorities to better align the department with the work--simply aren't being met.
Explain that you want to better understand the section manager's reluctance for employing more staff. Furnish specific examples (when, where, what was said or done) of his ignoring your request. Listen to the manager's response (and make sure you can repeat back to him the explanation he provides). If this helps clear the air, great. If it doesn't and the response is unacceptable, you now can escalate this matter the next level up the chain--or begin looking for a company where you can make more of a difference.
SOURCE: Gerry Crispin, SPHR, principal and chief navigator, CareerXroads, Kendall Park, New Jersey, December 14, 2005.
LEARN MORE:How to Write a Business Case Justifying a Staff Increase helps you test your hiring arguments with managers.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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