Line Managers’ Role in Human Resources
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Line Managers’ Role in Human Resources

  25th July, 2016

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Introduction:

Two aspects are critical for human resources success:

  1. The presence of well thought-out human resources practices
  2. The effectiveness of the implementation of those HR practices which are, in fact, part of the duties of line managers.

In many organizations, line managers are charged with various HR tasks, such as performance appraisals, candidates’ interviews, salary raise recommendations and many others. Importantly, HR specialists should not resent the line managers’ involvement in these HR tasks; they should welcome the line managers expanded HR role because it will create a valuable partnership where HR professionals will back up line managers by helping them analyze employees’ performance, evaluate learning needs, develop subordinates training plans and improve their coaching abilities.

There are five HR roles that should be the responsibility of line managers:

  1. Actively following up the performance, development and learning needs of their subordinates,
  2. Partnering with human resources professionals on strategic human resources management issues,
  3. Supporting learning continuously
  4. Assessing post training behavioral changes of employees and provide support and coaching when needed,
  5. Contributing to human resources strategy development.

It is not easy for line managers to fulfill these roles, because of their work load, shortage of competencies, traditional or ‘routine’ workload and the limited support they may receive from human resources professionals. Therefore:

  1. Line managers should be assessed to uncover gaps in performance and learning, not only in their specialty area, but in the area of human resources as well,
  2. Human resources training specialists should incorporate HR skills in all training packages for managers,
  3. Human resources professionals should develop their ability to provide advice and consultancy services to line managers,
  4. Line managers should be more involved in all human resources strategy planning phases until they become real strategic partners,
  5. And line managers should also be assessed on their support for subordinates’ development.

Effective collaboration between human resources management and line management will be achieved when members of both teams learn from and understand each other. Line managers will learn valuable lessons about the human side of the business, and human resources professionals will learn how their efforts and choices can affect the success of the organization. A partnership between them will drive the success of any business.