Whose responsibility is it anyway?

Dear Line Manager,

I couldn’t help but overhear you complaining about HR. We don’t help you, I heard you say to your colleague. We didn’t do anything to help you with your performance reviews last time they were due, or to deal with that person in your team that was the constant thorn in your side. That person needs to go, you said. What are they doing, in the corner office, those HR lot? Nothing, you reckon. Bloody useless, we are. It’s about time we proved ourselves by managing these non-performers, you said. And we’ve done nothing to arrange any training for your team. What is the point in them HR lot?

So here is my response Line Manager.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that here in HR, we haven’t been clearer. Clear that this is your responsibility. I’m sorry if we haven’t made it explicit that it is up to you to do your performance reviews, set objectives, give feedback, deal with performance problems, develop your people.

So let me clear now. You are a manager. This doesn’t mean just operational stuff, resource stuff, making stuff and planning stuff. It’s about your people too. So if you want assistance, guidance, expert advice, support, information, coaching, a partner to work with, then we are here to help you. That’s the point in the HR lot. Just don’t ask us to do it for you.

Whose responsibility is it anyway? I hope it’s clear now.

Yours faithfully,


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