Human Resource managers need to have a varying skill set due to their wide range of responsibilities. As an HR manager, you may be tasked with hiring new employees, getting them set up within their roles, training current employees, solving employee disputes, finding ways to improve employee retention, managing benefits packages, and much more. If you don’t have the right skills, you may quickly find yourself struggling to perform at your best.
Therefore, you need to have a strong skill set that allows you to perform well at each of these tasks. Below, we’ll outline some of the key human resource management skills you’ll want to have as an HR manager. In addition, we’ll provide you with some tips for how you can improve and ultimately master these skills.
Onboarding and Training
A key focus area for many HR managers is improving employee performance. One way to do this is by getting each new employee off to a good start through a comprehensive onboarding approach. According to a survey of HR professionals, 53 percent of them believe employee engagement improves when more focus is placed on onboarding. Of course, training shouldn’t stop once you introduce someone to their role. HR managers should also regularly train current employees in best practices and how to improve within their roles.
To train other employees effectively, HR managers need to work on a few things. For starters, you should spend plenty of time preparing your training sessions. It’s hard to train another employee on how to perform aspects of their job if you don’t know how to do them yourself. Second, HR managers should work on their communication skills. Particularly, practice listening to and receiving feedback from your coworkers. Give them space to ask questions and ask them how your training could be better. By doing so, you’ll improve your training sessions over time, which will then result in better employee retention and performance.
HR managers commonly interact with employees in other departments. This is because one of the primary goals of any HR department is to essentially create a better workplace. As such, it’s important that HR managers are able to collaborate effectively with others. You should be able to not only communicate your own ideas effectively but listen to the ideas of others.
There are a few things you can do to improve your collaboration skills. For starters, before working with anyone else, define your goals or objectives for the collaboration. Defining your goals beforehand helps when it comes time to communicate the purpose of the collaboration with the others involved. In addition, throughout the collaboration, remember to remain open-minded. Listen to what the other party has to say and learn how to compromise. Listening to others often leads to better ideas, not to mention helping your coworkers feel more valued.
If you think your collaboration skills need work, try starting off small. Pick a small task you need to work on and ask someone else to help you with it. Even if you know how to do it, practicing working with someone else on it will help you feel more comfortable when it comes time to collaborate on larger projects.
Time management is one of the more important human resource management skills. You’ll often find that employers task you with multi-step projects. As the leader of the project, you’ll need to prioritize certain tasks based on deadlines. You’ll also need to juggle the schedules of everyone involved with the project, ensuring that everything gets done on time.
There are some simple things you can do to start improving your time management skills. One way to start is by making sure you don’t take on too much work. If you’re someone who says “yes” to everyone, you may need to practice saying “no” to some things so that you have more time to focus on what’s most important. Besides that, work on starting your tasks as early as you can and creating a schedule ahead of time. By giving yourself enough time to complete the task, you’ll find that you’re not rushing as much as the deadline approaches. Finally, make use of software solutions to help you track your progress on tasks.
There are a lot of software tools that can make life easier for HR managers. However, in order to get the most out of them, you need to know how to use them properly. For example, there are HR payroll systems that make it easier to manage payroll, such as tracking paid time off. There’s also great hiring software options, which make it easier to find applicants, screen their resumes, and conduct virtual interviews.
If you don’t use a lot of technology in your role as an HR manager yet, you should first ask yourself which tasks take the most time, then explore software options. Then, once you have your software solutions set up, take the time to learn all you can about them. There’s likely some sort of online guide or tutorial you can follow to help you learn more about the software. Also, consider reaching out to others in your department for help if you think they know how to do something. Becoming comfortable with the latest HR technology not only makes your job easier but makes you an attractive candidate for any future job searches.
At some point during your time as an HR manager, you may need to settle a conflict between employees or between an employee and the employer. This is a key responsibility for the HR department and it’s important that you get it right so that all parties involved feel the situation was resolved correctly.
Whenever a conflict arises within the organization, look at it as an opportunity to improve your conflict resolution skills. Start by gathering all the facts from everyone involved, trying to remove as much emotion as you can from the situation. It’s important to listen to them, as sometimes people just want to be heard.
A great way to improve your conflict resolution skills further is by learning to identify the root causes of problems. For example, if two employees are arguing over a scheduling issue, the root cause could actually be a faulty scheduling system. By addressing the root cause, you can make the employees happy and prevent future problems from arising.
Finally, strive to become more proactive. This means taking initiative on things you believe need to be done, rather than waiting for someone to tell you to do it. A great way to start doing this is by having conversations with the other leaders of the organization. Learn more about the goals of the organization and what they need to grow. After this meeting, spend some time thinking about the current state of your organization and how it compares to where the leaders want it to be. Through this exercise, you can identify gaps that you can work on.
Once you know the areas that need attention, you can begin being more proactive about them. Set some mini-goals that you want to accomplish then determine how you can get there. Being a proactive HR manager means putting plans into action, measuring the results and making improvements for future goals.
Start Developing Your Human Resource Management Skills
When it comes to human resource management, the skills of the leader are paramount. If you want your department to be as strong as possible, and in turn provide the most benefits to your organization, you need to spend time developing your own skills. Set aside some time to assess your current skills then develop a plan to improve on any areas that need it. If you do this regularly, you should find that as your skills improve so does your HR department as a whole.