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Are HR and Employees in a Dysfunctional, Codependent Relationship?


1396808462_3dccb4a114_zCafe friend Paul Hebert has written an intriguing article at the HR Examiner (where he serves on the Editorial Advisory Board) in which he puts forth a very interesting assertion.

His premise is this: that the HR/employee relationship is dysfunctional and almost surely codependent.  (Yeah, that last part stings – doesn’t it?).

And further that our increasing dependence on technology in general – and AI in particular – is actually increasing the dysfunction.

Paul explains:

Codependency is defined by a faux “helping” relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

Among the core characteristics of codependency, the most common theme is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity. I don’t know about you all but that is almost a dead-on description of most HR/Employee relationships.

And I’ll submit, most of the work being done today to help HR is actually creating a new, and more insidious codependent relationship.

He lists some of the elements of this codependency.

I’ve highlighted a few below to whet your appetite.

  1. HR feels like their job is to solve the problems of employees and managers. Either through training or technology versus enabling people to solve their own issues. How often does HR intervene to take over the role of the manager? Too often.
  2. If advice isn’t followed HR feels like they’ve been spurned and ignored. How dare they!
  3. Employees feel like everything bad that happens is someone else’s fault – HR’s, Management’s, the clients, the market. It’s never the employee’s fault is it?

Ringing any bells?

I think, and my experience would suggest, that there is truth to Paul’s assertion – and this truth extends to those of us in the rewards field as well.

Please click… check out Paul’s article in its entirety.

In addition to laying out his case for the dysfunction/codependency assertion, he also shares some ideas on what to do about it.

WHY am I NOT on the Sales Incentive Plan ?” 

When creating or revising your sales incentive plan or any bonus scheme, set very clear rules for eligibility to help you communicate and design the scheme, so you know what to say when you hear :

“Why am I not on the Sales Incentive Plan ?” >