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Human Resource Management Skills for Non-HR Managers

human resource management guide

Have you heard the statement ‘people are the most important assets’, when referring to an organisation? I’m sure you have, and even if you haven’t, it’s likely you believe this statement to be true. Whether you’re a Human Resource Manager, a Line Manager, or even a Team Leader you’re aware of the value people add to a business. They’re invaluable components who move the business forward. It’s safe to say that without good people the organisation would certainly collapse.


“People can exist, indeed did exist for thousands of years, without companies. But companies cannot exist without people.” — Lazlo Bock

If people really are the most important asset, doesn’t it make sense that each person who finds themselves in a leadership role should understand basic HR practises? Understanding how to manage staff challenges, how to successfully drive employee motivation, how to improve staff retention and how to hire good people, should not be left up to the Human Resource department alone, but instead should be a prerequisite for managers across the board.

The benefits of strengthening your HR skills as a non-HR manager:

Before we emphasise the benefits of strengthening your HR skills as a non-HR manager, let’s first understand the general responsibilities of a manager. You may notice that almost every managerial function involves the staff that are being managed.

People-focused responsibilities that managers are called to perform:

  1. – Staff management: managers are required to interview, hire, and train new employees.
  2. – Communicate: managers act as the communication vessel between top management and employees.
  3. – Delegate: effective managers identify strengths within their team, and delegate tasks accordingly.
  4. – Motivate: a manager is required to encourage and further motivate staff, to increase productivity and performance.
  5. – Enforce company policy: managers enforce company policy, creating an environment built on accountability, responsibility and respect.
  6. – Train: managers are required to devise training strategies, to train employees on new technologies or systems that being are introduced.
  7. – Evaluate: managers evaluate employee performance and analyse data to ensure goals are being met.

Do you agree that the role of a manager requires a certain level of skill in human relations and people management? The manager does not perform their core responsibilities without interacting, managing and involving the people beneath them.

How you will benefit from strengthening your HR skills:

  1. – Understand people and personalities to ensure your staff management strategies are optimised
  2. –  Learn effective recruitment and selection techniques to ensure you build high-performance teams that’ll accelerate growth
  3. –  Devise and develop winning training strategies to get the most value out of your team
  4. – Understand performance evaluation techniques, and learn how to strengthen performance and rapidly improve employee motivation
  5. – Deal with grievances and disciplinaries in line with legalities

A good manager becomes an excellent manager when their HR skills are just as strong as their technical and conceptual skills. Through their basic understanding of HR, their team will be positively impacted; aiding further growth of the department and the business as a whole.

Developing HR-related skills will advance your career in management:

“Having good people skills means maximising effective and productive human interaction to everyone’s benefit”, says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job. “People want to connect on a humane level in the office; the alternative is a sterile environment with low productivity. So, the more you demonstrate these abilities, the faster your career will advance.”

She goes on to say:

“Given the choice between a savvy job candidate or, similarly, an employee seeking promotion – the one with excellent people skills and less technical ability will usually win the prize versus the converse.” She adds that “having good people radar is harder to teach than technical skills, but is a requisite for long-term, effective leadership.”

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