We are within the Human Resources Department of a Parisian insurance company whose objective is to consolidate 3 telephone sites on a single site located in the inner suburbs. This management knows that the staff representatives will oppose it; she therefore intends to make this announcement at the last minute.


This attitude immediately creates a blocking situation; the elected officials lend negative intentions to the HRD, in particular that of removing the elected officials and threaten to denounce a procedural defect. Management, for its part, justifies its decision on the basis of the following arguments: the pressure of time, the lack of space, an unavoidable logic of grouping together similar functions.

The representatives insist on the fact that the employees are in bad shape and that there is a psychosocial risk in the company .

It was then that the HR department contacted Lact.

Regarding the situation, we understand that a standoff is engaged. It is part of a symmetrical escalation, the rivalry being based on the fact that each of the two parties is certain to know what is good for the employees concerned, those who do not speak for the moment.

This standoff boils down to this:

“They have to move so that……..”

“We have to leave them there because……. »

The arm wrestling is evolving towards a hardening and the yes to the move is becoming weaker and weaker.

The HR department thinks “performance control at the lowest cost”; the move must therefore take place. Then, she loses control and considers that there is nothing to discuss. We have to move, period.

And this is where we come back to the attempts at solutions. The HRD is reinforced in its belief that a regrouping will improve performance while realizing that a lot of time is spent talking about the move; she thus runs from disillusion to disillusion.

Towards a reframing at 3 levels:

  • Mobilize the HR Department to act differently
  • Gather employee feedback
  • Recommend an action plan

1. Our recommendation to the HRD is to maintain the objective of the change with a lever of communication, the implementation of an individual interview to give the floor to the employees and more generally, the modification of the relational attitude to take into account sensitive aspects.

2. Collect the words of employees, listen to them, identify the danger, create a kind of vacuum to refuel.

3. Recommend an action plan in the form of a feedback. Take stock of the concern; in fact, employees could no longer wait for a move that did not happen and worried about the potential loss of physical proximity leading to a loss of the relationship.

We also recommend that management change the relationship with employee representatives; thanking the elected officials would be a way of giving space to dialogue by "in a way killing the snake with its own poison", creating a bumper by reflecting the difficulties of the move and developing formal means, for example videoconferencing tools .

The issue of the conflict is thus displaced; it is refocused on the concerns of employees.