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Varied work styles lead to personality clash between HR and line managers

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6th Dec 2012
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The personality clash experienced by many HR professionals and line managers in the financial services sector can be put down to their very different styles of working, according to a study.

An analysis of the personality profiles of 5,000 financial services employees conducted by assessment system provider, Talent Q, revealed that HR practitioners tended to be more consultative in their approach, were willing to allow others to take the lead and adhered less rigidly to rules, processes and deadlines. But the opposite was true of the ‘typical’ manager. They tended to be competitive, achievement-oriented, persuasive communicators who liked to deal in data, evidence, structure and detail. Richard MacKinnon, Talent Q’s head of learning and development solutions, said: “Confusion and disagreements can…occur when the two parties interact with each other because HR practitioners are essentially trying to be collaborative and supportive in a world which values being forceful and direct.” But the fact that HR pros were often forced to operate outside of their comfort zone sometimes led to a lack of internal understanding about their role and the expertise that they brought to the business, he added. As a result, MacKinnon advised HR professionals to build up their technical, interpersonal and professional skills in order to become so-called ‘HR entrepreneurs’. An HR entrepreneur could be described as “a confident advisor and a trusted expert who can simplify HR processes and align with business strategy because they have a clear and up-to-date understanding of the talent management environment and the industry in which they work”, he said. The idea was that their “technical prowess, diplomacy and improved client management” skills would be able to bring “greater objectivity and fairness to recruitment and talent management processes”, MacKinnon added. 

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