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How can HR help set managers up for success?

A lot of people are never taught how to be great managers. Fortunately, HR can lend a helping hand!
Published 2 Aug 2021
5 min read
HR and a manager smiling and sitting at the table with a laptop.

Human resources is a foundational part of any business. 

HR has the unique position of being based across each part of an organisation. They act as a conduit between the company’s executive function and each team member. They take care of employment administration and the employee lifecycle – but they also set the tone of a business and monitor performance.

Using HR expertise, you can help set up managers to do their best work. In every area, HR can boost and streamline a manager’s role – fostering growth and excellence across the business. 

How can we define management success?

So, what are some measures of success that HR can bolster?

As with any role in the business, managers should have clearly defined key metrics to strive for. While the exact numbers will vary from company to company, and role to role, consider identifying management KPIs in these areas:

  • Team goals – does each manager’s direct report understand what their overall goals are, and are they tracking their progress towards them? Do these goals align with the overall business objectives?
  • Performance metrics – are their team members keeping up or deviating from their daily numbers like sales units / website hits / calls answered / products delivered?
  • Recruitment – how efficient is the manager’s recruitment process? Can they easily identify a great candidate, and do they have an effective approach to securing them?
  • Team happiness – the manager / employee relationship has a significant influence on employee experience. How happy would this person’s colleagues rate themselves on a scale from 1-10?
  • Retention – what is the manager’s track record of employee turnover? What is the average length of their direct reports’ career with the company?

How can HR help set managers up for success?

Clearly express the company’s values

Company values should dictate an organisation’s objectives, purpose and spirit. When they are clearly defined, they should have significant influence over your team and act as a guide to follow and rely on. 

With their knowledge of company goals and their business-wide insights, HR are the perfect people to create and communicate a set of values – often collaborating with the CEO or founder. 

HR teams should be the strongest advocates of company values, expressing them clearly to managers, old and new. HR teams can advise managers with issues in respect of the company’s values, and managers can easily pass this knowledge onto their direct reports – creating a powerful trickle-down effect. 

Create a goal-setting framework

For any growing business – having a united framework for goal-setting is essential. Without it, there’s a risk of teams falling out of alignment; working in different directions, and away from company objectives. 

Similarly to values, HR managers should be advocates and experts on how the company sets goals. HR will have insights into what the company’s key goals are for the next month, year and five years. They can act as a springboard for managers who are creating goals for their own teams. 

Create a free-flowing feedback loop between HR and managers to ensure transparency around goal setting. HR managers should implement a formal performance framework to help managers keep track of their team’s progress. This is especially important when you’re managing goals for hybrid teams

Wondering what this could look like in action? Take a look at Employment Hero’s Objectives and Key Results functionality to see how you can keep your team aligned to reach ambitious goals.

Guide recruitment processes

Finding the perfect candidate for a role is more complex than most people think. From defining roles to advertising, interviewing to spotting red flags – it’s a tough and time-consuming task. 

As people experts, HR should guide hiring managers through this process. Whether that’s from referring the best applicants, to screening possible candidates and giving interviewing guidance at each step. HR managers can also manage the task of bringing other staff members into the process and oversee the feedback provided by each interviewer. 

Making recruitment an entirely collaborative process between management and HR can be the difference between finding someone who’s just ok for the role and hiring your next unicorn. 

Refine your processes by downloading our Ultimate Guide to Recruitment and Onboarding.

Teach the ‘soft-skills’ of management 

A lot of people are never taught how to be great managers. In the general career progression model, talented specialists step up to management – usually by being handed more responsibilities and several direct reports. 

It’s at this point that there’s often a shock for managers. It’s no longer just on their shoulders to perform in their area – they also have to excel at essential ‘soft skills’; communicating clearly with their team, managing workloads and monitoring their staff members’ wellbeing. 

This generally won’t come naturally to new managers, but it’s what HR is all about. HR can help managers move beyond being senior staff members and help them become leaders. 

How can HR do this? With their existing knowledge, they can teach managers the best ways to communicate with their staff, they can advise on teamwork and leadership, and they can help managers understand an employee’s mental, professional and emotional needs. 

It’s ok for managers – especially new managers – to admit that soft skills aren’t second nature to them. Learning and development doesn’t stop being important when people reach the management level. Organise regular meetings between HR and managers to share knowledge in this area and decide together if any upskilling is required. 

Streamline employee management

As well as soft skills, there is a lot of administration that many people don’t consider when they start managing staff. 

Processing leave requests, managing shifts, setting up learning pathways and distributing reward and recognition. These are essential parts of managing staff, yet they can often be too time-consuming – involving a lot of repetitive paperwork. 

One of the best ways that HR can assist in this area is to invest in digital solutions. An HRIS (Human Resources Information System) like Employment Hero can streamline these tasks and reduce human error in the process.

Employment Hero is your single source of information for your employees. Through our desktop or app, you can complete many time-consuming admin tasks instantly. Your team members are empowered to update their own information, you can view leave requests and approve them instantly, and you can shout out employee achievements to the entire company. It makes HR and management a breeze. 

HR and management. Stronger together.

Becoming a manager is so much more than just taking a step on the career ladder. It takes a lot of additional consideration, training and assistance to be successful. HR managers play a fundamental role in creating great managers, and when the two work together seamlessly, the benefits are endless. 

Want to learn more about essential HR skills? Download our Intro to HR Management to master the foundations.

Download now

Intro to HR Management

In this guide, we go back to basics and talk through everything HR beginners need to know.
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