Soapbox Alert: I am going to rant for a minute or two. Proceed at your peril.
One of my pet peeves is managers who talk about all the HR duties they are responsible for. Things like recruiting and providing constructive feedback (and sometimes discipline) relating to attendance, productivity and performance. I have news for those managers:
You aren’t doing HR. You are managing.
Along with the privilege of managing a group of people comes the responsibility to manage well. To manage well, managers need to:
Take ownership of the recruiting process
HR doesn’t own recruiting, they facilitate it. They should have knowledge about how best to source your ideal candidates, the tools to collect and manage candidates, and the skills to assess the top applicants and provide useful insights to assist in the decision making process. However, it is the manager that is going to have to live with the consequences of the decision and as such, the manager should be confident the right person was selected and the right package was offered.
Carefully manage the orientation process
Managers often feel they are too busy to waste time with the new hire and that is a serious mistake. The greatest proportion of voluntary turnover (aka resignations) happens in the 1st year of employment and I chalk that up to two reasons:
- Bad hiring (usually due to overpromising and underdelivering)
- Bad orienting so the employee does not feel a part of the team.
The first few months are critical not only for the manager to ensure the new hire was a good choice, but also so the manager can ensure the employee feels it was a wise decision to join the company. Good orienting differs from company to company but putting a lot of effort into making an employee feel welcome and helping the employee get up to speed on the job, company and most importantly make connections within the organization is a good way to begin.
Set expectations, provide feedback, and recognize progress, effort and success
A manager is a communicator, cheerleader, counsellor and coach all rolled up into one and all four hats are cycled through regularly throughout any given day. Setting and calibrating expectations and goals through feedback, progress reports, and measures, encouraging, offering a hand, sometimes pushing and sometimes pulling are all part of the job.
If you don’t like it, reconsider your career path but know you are not alone. I have seen many instances of people “promoted” into management who hate it:
- They miss the actual work,
- They don’t like the differentiation between them and the colleagues who used to be their peers,
- The extra money isn’t worth the extra hours, and
- The relentless questions and issues involved in managing people and building a great team make them want to tear their hair out.
One of the key skills of a good manager is self awareness. I encourage all wannabe managers to look deep within to ensure they truly want to be a manager owning ALL of the duties and responsibilities before accepting that management opportunity.
Come back next week for my take on what HR should be doing to help managers.