Imagine you are hired as the new HR manager of your company. Congratulations! But this new role didn’t come to you lightly.
The previous HR manager, Fernan Bautista, was let go by the board because of an incident that started with Lily Santos. Lily is the company’s compensation and benefits specialist. She is one of the company’s most trusted and reliable employees.
Lily has been in the company for six years, starting off as executive assistant. She honed her skills and did her job well. Last year, she received the well-deserved position she has today. But the story doesn’t happily end there.
A Hands Off Approach Leads To Idle Hands
Her problems began last year when Fernan headed the company’s HR department. He seemed indifferent about Lily’s motivational needs and professional goals. There were no one-on-one meetings, no coaching, not even a “good job” every once in a while.
Despite that, Lily continued to work hard to hit her goals and those of her department. But the “hands off” approach of Fernan was taking its toll. Soon, Lily became disengaged at work. She started to leave work early and even left her desk often to mingle with other staff.
When the payroll got delayed for two months in a row, the CEO stepped in and had a chat with Lily. That was when she confessed her troubles. Further investigation showed that Lily wasn’t the only one who felt this way. The entire HR team was feeling unappreciated in their work.
This was when the board met with Fernan. If a company’s HR department feels unmotivated, what more rest of the company, the people HR itself needs to motivate? From that long discussion, the board found out that Fernan was not actively connecting with his team. He was then let go.
But is that all there is to it: replacing the HR manager?
340 Million People Are Unhappy At Work
Gallup released a study in 2013 titled State of the Global Workforce. The report showed that only 13% of workers worldwide engage and commit to their jobs. And 24% of those surveyed or 340 million are unhappy and unproductive at work.
In the same Gallup report only 29% of Filipino workers showed active engagement in their jobs. A large chunk of 63% are not engaged, with 8% of them actively disengaged at work. To succeed as an HR manager, you need to be on the ground helping everyone, including your team, get engaged with their jobs.
The HR Manager’s Roles and Responsibilities
As HR manager you need to know your roles and responsibilities:
First, you plan not only for the HR department but also for the company in general. These plans must align with the company’s goals and objectives.
You are a generalist who can combine business and management skills. You are in charge of both administrative matters and building networks and business partners. You know every HR function and how that function adds to the plans of the company.
Compensation and Benefits
You help develop compensation plans and negotiation strategies for employee health care and other benefits. You find the best benefits packages that will benefit your company’s staff.
You will also have to make sure that employees are working in a safe and relaxed environment. You protect the staff without going against the company’s interests. If anyone has any grievances or legal issues, you must always be on top of them. You create an effective strategy for employer-employee relations. You are the employees’ advocate in the company.
Training and Development
You plan, oversee, and assess the training and career growth of the staff. You also decide if such training is necessary, and what kind of training they might need. Does it improve their performance and productivity? Based on their training and career goals, you create succession plans.
You create hiring strategies to meet the company’s workforce demands. You will also oversee recruitment and selection processes. You decide on matters about hiring and retention of talent. You develop the company’s brand to make it appealing to top qualified talent.
Your True Job As HR Manager
The fact remains: Lily and the HR team don’t feel like they’re doing a good job despite all their hard work. How will you, the new HR manager, solve this?
Paula Topolosky, author of Linking Employee Satisfaction to Business Results, writes that when a worker is satisfied in her job, she has positive impact to the company’s health and wealth. People want to know how their roles connect with the company’s business goals.
Your job is to ensure a high level of employee satisfaction. To fulfill this role, you need a deep understanding of human psychology. Tap their egos so that they will feel a sense of self-worth and achievement.
- Create work conditions that provide opportunities for growth and promotion.
- Engage with them to become more productive.
- Recognize their true value to the company.
- Reward them when they excel.
Because you are Lily’ boss, you feel for her and understand her struggles at work. You’re not only dealing with a business and its processes. You are also dealing with the heart of the business: its people. Make a true connection with each individual employee if you want to be truly successful as an HR manager.