Accueil » 49-3 ( 1994) » Décentralisation des services de ressources humaines : impacts sur la satisfaction des clients

Décentralisation des services de ressources humaines : impacts sur la satisfaction des clients

Thierry Wils, Marcel Saint-Onge et Christiane Labelle

Résumé

Le but de cette étude est d'évaluer dans quelle mesure la décentralisation d'un service de ressources humaines a un impact sur la satisfaction de ses clients. Une enquête par questionnaire a été réalisée dans deux organisations du secteur public fédéral (l'une possédant un service centralisé et l'autre ayant opté pour une structure décentralisée). À partir d'un échantillon de 496 répondants, l'analyse statistique révèle que la satisfaction des clients envers leur service de ressources humaines est influencée positivement par la décentralisation, mais que cette relation est modérée par l'endroit de travail des clients (impact positif sur la satisfaction des clients en région). L'analyse montre également que la consultation et la flexibilité constituent deux facteurs explicatifs qui entrent enjeu seulement dans une structure décentralisée pour expliquer la satisfaction des clients.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of the decentralization of Human Resources Services on client satisfaction. Large organizations usually have their Human Resources department at headquarters, which creates a gap between human resources professionals at headquarters and operational front line managers. The more geographically dispersed the line units, the greater the gap. Besides the psychological gap (staff managers often have their offices at the top of an office tower, whereas line managers have theirs on lower floors or in other buildings), there is a geographical gap which only worsens problems of communication and misunderstanding.

It is, however, possible to decentralize Human Resources services while keeping a core of human resources professionals at headquarters and locating other human resources professionals in regional operations. That way, the latter are close to their respective clients and get to know their needs, which should result in better service and ultimately greater client satisfaction.

A questionnaire survey was done in two federal public service organizations (one with centralized Human Resources services and the other with decentralization of structure). The two organizations were basically the same in terms of size (3 000 vs 2 500 employees), mission, regional activities, and manpower (the employees of both organizations were predominantly professionals and both had a similar proportion of visible minorities).

A statistical analysis of 496 respondents shows that decentralizing Human Resources services has a positive impact on client satisfaction but that this relationship is moderated by the client's location (i.e. positive impact on client satisfaction in regional offices). The survey revealed other interesting facts. First, the variables related to the organizational structure (i.e. level of centralization and client location) play a much greater role than those related to client group in exploring differences in client satisfaction. Second, variables related to consultation and flexibility only play a role where there is decentralization, which allows to account for a larger proportion of variance in client satisfaction. Third, regardless of organisational structure, uniformity of service is linked directly to client satisfaction. Decentralization, therefore, does not prove an obstacle to uniformity of service, although the latter plays a greater role within a centralized structure.