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Recently I came across this discussion with one HR professional.

Last week he was (let’s call him Abhay) invited for a meeting with the product team. The product head represented the business, while Abhay was representing HR. This was one of those sacred moments for HR, where the business team provides pearls of wisdom to ‘us’ HR folks. And all such meetings do have the backdrop of HR trying to don the hat of a ‘support’ function, considering that the first hit on Google on HR starts with the existential question ‘Does HR have a future’.

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Well, back to the meeting. One of the new hires had taken the task of going through the entire HR manual too seriously, and had stumbled upon one staff policy, which no one in HR could remember the rhyme or reason to be there in the first place. It seemed that Business teams had been aware of this policy, but no one was too eager to press with it. Today’s meeting was called to discuss the fate of this policy.

On the face of it, this was a straightforward discussion. Business highlights a policy which doesn’t make any sense, HR agrees, and the policy flies out of the window.

But that was not to be. Abhay stressed that his team fully understood the pain this policy was bound to inflict on the team. The business head similarly stressed on the fact that he understood what it took to run a calibrated HR function, and policies should not be changed at the whim and fancy of an individual.

The result? Abhay has set up a task force in ‘collaboration’ with business to go through this policy in detail, and this task force will present its ‘findings’ in 90 days (hopefully). And the elephant left the room very, very disappointed.

What do you think was the name of this elephant? What would you have done?

Have you also come across similar situations where elephants stare teams in their faces, but staff simply don’t care, or dare to look back?

I would love to hear back from you.