As the Human Resources Manager, your responsibilities in the office environment are some of the most consequential. The success of any work environment depends largely on personal interactions and relationships between the individuals sharing the space, whether they are on the same team working toward common goals or coexisting in a shared workspace. It’s the responsibility of the HR Manager to ensure these interactions are fostering a safe, comfortable, and productive work environment, providing all the individuals with the opportunity to perform at their highest capacities. Bearing the responsibility of everyone’s well-being can be overwhelming at times, especially when there are individuals who may frequently butt heads, but here are some human resource tips that will make you into a successful manager.
As the person who people will come to with unresolved conflicts, you’re going to have to practice compassion so that people feel they can confide in you. As the HR manager, you are often privy to delicate or private information about other employees in the office. For this reason, the employees need to feel that you genuinely care about their concerns because chances are, if they are sitting at your desk, the issue is pressing. While it’s important to remember that you are by no means a therapist, and there is definitely a line that can be crossed, it’s important to foster an environment in which people feel like they are being heard.
It’s a common misconception that HR managers are required to keep all information that comes to their desk confidential. While you are not legally required to do so, you must learn to use your discretion to decide when information needs to be relayed to someone else and when it is in everyone’s best interest to keep it confidential. The nature of this position is that you will inevitably find yourself in some tricky situations, unsure of which information to share or which party to help. Remember to follow your gut and make decisions based on the well-being of your employees and the company. This is all part of how to be a good HR manager-101.
Beyond representing the rules and organization of an office space, as the HR manager, you should get specific about the kind of environment you want to create. Do as much research as possible to hone in on a specific office-wide vision that will create symbiotic relationships. Network with HR managers from other companies and exchange ideas and knowledge about what makes an office space excel beyond its basic functions.
One of the best tips for HR managers is to refine your ability to communicate effectively with the employees in the office. As the voice of your company’s organizational culture, you should have the ability to inspire and build relationships in the office by effectively communicating with everyone. One way to practice honing this distinct voice is to try and emulate the communication methods of some of your favorite speakers, harnessing a certain compelling aspect of their personality and using it to emphasize the importance of communication in the office.
While an HR manager is by no means required to have a law degree, a basic understanding of employment law is fundamental. With this knowledge, you will know how to proceed in legally ambiguous situations and when you need to actually refer to a lawyer. As the person often tasked with firing people, for example, it’s crucial you know when the law permits this. Many decisions you will make as the HR manager have legal implications, so study up and make sure you aren’t breaking any rules. In addition to legal knowledge, you should have a working knowledge of the health insurance benefits offered to your employees because you are the person they will defer to if they have questions. Of course, your employees can call their health insurance provider for more information or to ask in-depth questions, but you should be able to provide preliminary and straight forward guidance as well. Besides, no one enjoys listening to menu options or talking to an insurance company’s customer service line.