HR managers perform a critical role in any business. Whatever the size of your enterprise, it is crucial that you understand the best practices in HR and how you can motivate and manage your employees effectively. As someone new to the role of HR manager, it is even more important to start on the right foot. You should take the time to get to know your team and maintain good organisational practices.
There are a few key skills and duties that every HR manager should have and hone throughout their time in the role. This article will explore some of the best ways to manage your team, boost your skillset and increase efficiency.
Remember the bigger picture
It is easy to get caught up in the minutia of your everyday tasks, but you should always keep one eye on the bigger picture. This includes finding the right people for roles within your business as well as managing and developing the existing team members. You will need to show employees that you care about more than just getting them through the door – you want them to thrive and grow in their roles and are committed to their ongoing happiness and development.
Form positive relationships with every employee
Many employees look to HR management with trepidation. They might automatically consider contact from HR to be bearing bad news or criticism, so you must form relationships with employees and help them view contact with you and the rest of HR as positive.
Take the time to talk to each employee about both their work and personal lives. While it may be challenging for you to form relationships with each employee if you work for a larger enterprise, you should still take the time to make small talk and chat with employees and let them know you’re there to support them.
Encourage healthy working practices
As an HR manager, it is your job to monitor your team’s working habits and patterns. You should be the first to know if your employees are over or underworking. Let your team know that the business prioritises their health and wellbeing. If you notice an employee that consistently works longer than their contracted hours, take the time to find out why and offer support where possible.
Be an excellent communicator
Communication is a crucial skill for any HR professional. You will need to get ideas across effectively and ensure that your directives are understood correctly. You may also need to deliver bad news in a compassionate and understanding manner. You should take the time to communicate with your team consistently, and not just when there is change to be implemented. It may help to take further training on effective communication and active listening.
Identify and mentor employees with potential
As an HR manager, one of your key duties should be identifying the next generation of talent. This could be in HR or any other area of the business. Once you identify the employees with the most potential, you should ensure that you take steps to give them the training and mentorship to allow them to flourish in your organisation.
Use quality time tracking software
Keeping track of your employees’ time is crucial to help you monitor efficiency and productivity. It can also help you identify whether employees need additional support. Tracking employees’ time should not be used to criticise but as an opportunity for you and the employee to work together to help them achieve their potential.
The right software can also allow employees to see how they spend their time, improving and adjusting their working practices. You should look for time tracking software that enables managers and HR to monitor the employee time worked and approve timesheets, gives notifications for upcoming absences and more. The Factorial HR time tracking software is an excellent example of the quality and service you should be looking for.
Offer progression and development opportunities
As mentioned above, you should also focus on developing the existing members of your team, rather than just looking out for the best new talent to recruit. Ongoing development is key to ensuring the talented members of your team meet their potential and remain within your organisation.
It may help to take time regularly and consult with other managers in the business about the type of additional training you could offer. Ensure you understand which team members would be most valuable to invest in and find something to offer everyone.
Networking is a critical opportunity to help you develop your own skills and learn from others. You should ensure your HR network is strong and take steps to meet more people within the profession. Attending conferences and conventions to help you meet more HR professionals and have productive discussions about your practices, taking tips and ideas when they’re offered.
Listen to and act upon feedback
Every business leader should be able to accept feedback, whether positive or negative, with grace and attentiveness. Feedback can be a valuable way to grow as a professional, and it can help your team know that you value their opinions and thoughts. You should show that you are acting on feedback when it is received.
You could consider putting up a suggestions box for employees to use anonymously or have an open-door policy allowing anyone with ideas to drop by your office whenever is convenient for them.
Create a high quality onboarding process
Onboarding is an essential part of any new employees’ introduction to your business. It is a good idea to create a standard onboarding process that can be tailored to each new starter. Your onboarding process should include an introduction to management and an employee’s new team, as well as any training on business processes and procedures that may be needed.
The onboarding process will form the basis of an employee’s first impression of your business, and it needs to be done well to showcase your business’s assets and professionality. It should be well organised, streamlines and follow a clear schedule.
Get out of your office
It is best to avoid staying in your office for your entire workday. The more you are seen out and about, mingling with your team, the more comfortable your team will be with you. If they see you only when they are called to your office like errant school children, they will understandably become anxious during interactions. If you have a non-sensitive matter to discuss with an employee, go to their desk instead.
Delivering news that is difficult to hear is another fundamental reality of being an HR manager. You may have to deliver news of redundancies, dismissals, downsizing, and more. When delivering bad news, it is crucial that you remain composed, no matter the others’ reactions. You will likely encounter a range of high emotions when it comes to delivering bad news, and it is important to be compassionate, calm, and professional when you do so.
Take care of your own mental health
Being an HR manager is a challenging but rewarding role. With any high-pressured job, it is crucial that you take steps to manage your own wellbeing. If you find yourself struggling, particularly after a distressing or upsetting task like informing employees of redundancies, it may help to find someone to talk to. The stronger your own mental health, the better equipped you will be to support your team.
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