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How to be a Good HR Manager

The HR function is critical to any organization. Act strategically with these tips and learn how to be a good HR manager!

Human capital

Leen Sawalha

VP Product & Growth

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


Big or small, human resources management has become a crucial part of any organization. With their main goal of maximizing employee performance to achieve the organization’s overall objectives, HR managers are becoming more important than ever.

Managing your human resources is not an easy feat, and just like with any other type of manager, there are specific aspects that make you recognized as a good HR manager.

While we have already discussed what the qualities of a good manager are in a previous article, here are a few tips on how to be a good HR manager!

Policies and procedures that comply with laws and regulation

Compliance is one of the most important aspects of HR, or even any other function for that matter. All organizations and departments look to their human resources professionals for guidance on how to remain in line with governmental laws and regulation.

Not complying with them would not only cost the organization a large amount of money in legal fees, but it would also affect their brand, ruin their reputation, demoralize their employees, lower productivity, and ultimately, affect their sales and bottom-line.

It is of the utmost importance that you have all the policies and procedures in place that respect governmental laws, and that you keep up-to-date with new regulations.

As the HR manager, your colleagues and executives are counting on you to keep them in line, even if they don’t show it! Don’t be afraid to emphasize the importance of compliance and enforce those policies and procedures.

Exercise cost control

In many organizations, especially those in the service sector, the cost associated with personnel represents up to 85 percent of the organization’s total expense. Top executives often see human resources as an expense that adds nothing to the company’s bottom line; but that shouldn’t be the case.

HR practices and procedures can add a lot of value to the organization if they are effective, efficient, and are well-implemented. As the HR manager, focus your energy on areas that can add the most value to the company with as little cost as possible.

One way to directly reduce costs associated with human resources is to increase the efficiency of those working. Efficiency can be measured in terms of time, volume, and cost. Determine which processes take up the most time (e.g. average time to fill an opening, or process an employee claim), which ones have high volume measures (e.g. number of requests processed per employee, or the number of people interviewed to fill a position), and which ones are associated with high costs (e.g. cost per training).

Once you have identified these issues, focus on finding the source of the problem and implement the appropriate solution.

Align your HR strategies with the organization’s overall objectives

Human resources has long ago moved from just having an administrative role. More and more, organizations are realizing that HR can add strategic value to the company if properly planned and implemented. Why? Because employees are strategic resources that help organizations achieve their overall objectives; it’s just that simple!

Aligning your HR strategy with that of the organization is not easy, but certainly possible. Study and analyze your organization’s overall objective, its strategy, and its mission. Then develop HR strategies that would shape your employees’ behaviors to make them consistent with the direction the organization identifies in its strategic plans.

For example, if your organization’s strategy is to provide exceptional service, then your HR strategy would focus on training and development, and performance-based compensation. While if your organization’s strategy is to be a low-cost-provider, then training should be limited to programs that are fast and inexpensive.

Planning and forming strategies is essential to reach your organizational objectives. They are also important to allow you to align your HR functional strategies with that of the company. Take an active role as the HR manager and add strategic value to your organization.

Ensure client satisfaction

And by “client”, we don’t mean the end consumer. The human resources department/professional is essentially an organizational service provider; and it has more than one client! Human resources is the bridge between the organization as a whole and its employees. It services the company and its stakeholders by ensuring maximum employee performance, and it services the employees by ensuring that they are being compensated fairly, get training and development, have their rights respected, etc.

In addition to the apparent reason of meeting their client’s needs, there are many advantages to measuring your client’s satisfaction. First of all, it reminds the HR department that it is, in fact, providing a service. In addition, it increases the credibility of the HR function, as well as provides an understanding of the clients’ perception. Moreover, it helps the HR department identify resistances to change, provides information on how to overcome this resistance, and the ability to prove that the change program is meeting its goals.

With that mindset, it’s easy to see that you will be recognized as a good HR manager when you have satisfied your “clients” with your service. Use methods to measure your clients’ satisfaction, such as with informal feedback, surveys, and the critical incident method, and use that information to ensure optimum client satisfaction.

How to be a good HR manager? Start from within!

All organizational success, whether big or small, starts from within. Everyone can agree that the overall success of an organization comes about from a collaboration of the teams within the company. It is for that specific reason that you, as the HR manager, should ensure that the human resources within those teams are working productively, efficiently, and harmoniously.

Not only do you need to ensure that the team members’ knowledge, skills, and abilities are compatible, but you also need to ensure that there is a good level of “fit” between their personalities.

All in all, the human resources function is critical to any organization. As the HR manager, it is your responsibility to ensure your department is working effectively, efficiently, and is adding value to the organization’s bottom line.

Consider the qualities of a being a good manager, discover assessment tools to help ensure the level of fit, act strategically, and be recognized as a good HR manager!

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