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 that 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 practices? Understanding how to manage staff challenges, support hybrid workspaces, successfully drive employee motivation, retain key employees, and hire good people should not be left up to the HR department alone but instead should be a prerequisite for managers across the board.
The benefits of strengthening your Human Resource skills as a people manager
Before we emphasise the benefits of strengthening your HR skills, let’s first understand the general responsibilities of managing other people. You may notice that almost every managerial function involves the employees and teams that are being managed.
People-focused responsibilities that managers are called to perform include
1 | Staff management – managers are required to interview, hire, and train new employees.
2 | Communication – managers act as the information-sharing vessel between top management and employees.
3 | Delegation – effective managers identify strengths within their team and allocate tasks accordingly.
4 | Motivation – a people manager is required to encourage and further motivate staff, increasing productivity and performance.
5 | Enforce company policy – managers enforce company policy, creating an environment built on accountability, responsibility and respect.
6 | Training – managers are required to devise training strategies and develop 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? A manager does not perform their core responsibilities without interacting, managing, and involving the people they are working with.
How you will benefit from strengthening your Human Resource skills
- Understand people and personalities to ensure your staff management strategies are optimised.
- Learn effective recruitment and selection techniques to ensure you build high-performance teams that’ll accelerate growth.
- Devise and develop winning training strategies to get the most value out of your team.
- Understand performance evaluation techniques, and learn how to strengthen performance and rapidly improve employee motivation.
- 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, encouraging 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.”