The HR manager has a big impact on the efficiency of any business by leading the department that’s in charge of essential tasks such as hiring and training new employees. If your HR department doesn’t properly do its job, it will cause a ripple effect and have a negative impact elsewhere in your business.
However, the converse is also true – a strong HR department drives efficiency in the rest of your business. To get this, though, you first need to have a strong HR manager. There are a few qualities that separate great ones from the rest. Below, we’ll outline some of the key qualities you’ll want in your HR manager if you’re looking to improve efficiency throughout your business.
First things first, one of the most important qualities for any HR manager is the ability to analyze themselves. Before they can look to start improving other areas of the business, they need to be able to identify their own qualities and the current inefficiencies of their department. That way, they can set a solid foundation for their department, allowing them to effectively improve efficiencies elsewhere.
A good HR manager sets aside time to conduct a full audit of their operation. This includes going through each process and brainstorming ideas for improvement. They should also interview their staff and ask them for feedback on how they would improve things in the HR department. The final step requires taking this feedback, combining it with their own analysis, and determining ways to not only improve the department but themselves as well.
This self-assessment should occur at regular intervals, once per quarter or once per year, depending on how much free time they have on their hands. Unfortunately, some managers aren’t capable of performing an honest analysis of themselves or the departments they run. But if you want to contribute to a more efficient business, it’s essential that your HR manager is capable of pulling this off.
Improving your HR department, and the business as a whole, requires not only the ability to perform a self-analysis but the ability to use numbers to drive your decisions. It’s important for HR managers to be highly analytical, to gather important data about the business and draw meaningful conclusions from it. While it’s glaringly obvious that some areas of your department need fixing just by looking at them, more often than not, you’ll discover this through deep data analysis.
Through this step, an HR manager can learn exactly how much time and money they are spending on each stage of the hiring process. They may further discover that they are spending too much of it sifting through resumes or that they have high employee turnover shortly after hiring. One solution is to implement software that can scan resumes for them or work to improve their onboarding process to better help new employees adapt. This, in turn, improves productivity and reduces spending. These sorts of problems are not obvious at a first glance but if your HR manager has proper analytical qualities, they become more apparent.
Communication is a big element of any HR department, as it essentially acts as a conduit between employees and management. HR managers need strong communication skills for a few reasons. First, they regularly communicate with a diverse set of people on a daily basis. On any given day, an HR manager might interact with the head of the company, a long-term employee, and a prospective hire. Each interaction requires different styles of communication. However, in each interaction, they must be able to effectively get important information across.
Second, as the manager of a department, they need to communicate the goals of the department to those working in it. Each member of the HR team should know exactly what their role is, as well as their responsibilities. This is only possible if the HR manager clearly communicates this to them. Without this strong communication ability, the HR department can lose efficiency, which in turn leads to worse efficiency throughout the rest of the business.
One of the keys to improving efficiency in a business is quickly identifying good solutions to problems. It’s important for HR managers to find the root cause of a problem, then perform a thorough analysis that will help them find the right solution. The types of problems they might see have a big range, from a dispute between two employees to figuring out how to increase employee productivity.
HR managers can address problems in their own departments but in others as well. However, all too often, other departments do not think to involve them when they experience an issue. To help improve the efficiency of the entire business, they should be proactive about offering their help to other managers.
At the same time, HR managers teach others how to identify and solve their own problems. By improving the problem-solving skills of those around them, they can reduce the number of problems that they must address. This also improves the business’s efficiency, as problems do not need to go through as many channels before a solution is found.
One of the best things an HR manager can do is implement a procedure for solving problems within their department, establishing guidelines and steps. By creating an organized structure for problem-solving, employees in the department will know what to do the next time they experience an issue.
HR managers do not have a big role in determining the overall direction or functions of a business. This means they are often at the whim of a shifting environment when business leaders decide to make changes. In addition, they can’t control the actions of their employees, which can also create unexpected situations. This is why they must be agile, quickly adapting to new scenarios.
For example, if an employee suddenly quits, the HR manager must be able to quickly bring in someone new and get them up to speed. Or maybe the head of the company decides to drastically change the size of the workforce – either wanting to quickly expand with more employees or downsizing to a smaller team. In either scenario, the HR manager must quickly implement solutions to meet the new direction of the company.
One thing they can do to become more agile is to put systems in place that make it easier to adapt to new situations. For example, they can put a system in place that makes it easier for current employees to transition between positions. This way, if a department suddenly needs more help or if a critical employee leaves, you already have an established system for shifting current employees to a new role. They can also focus on their employee retention strategies so that these shifts aren’t needed as often to start with. By preparing for the unexpected, they can be ready to handle whatever other members of the business might throw at them.
Finally, to accomplish all of the above, HR managers need to be organized. There are a lot of moving parts within any HR department and if they don’t establish an organized structure, they’ll quickly find themselves facing unnecessary issues. Luckily, there are some great tools that can help them stay organized.
For example, an online calendar could help them keep track of all their appointments, while also allowing others in the department to see when they are free. With a good calendar, the manager can plan out their entire weeks, create reminders and ensure they give themselves enough time for each of their tasks.
Once the HR manager organizes their personal responsibilities, they can begin to organize the entire department. For instance, they can start to separate their personnel files into categories, implement communication software for the team or create a unified system to handle all of the different HR tasks. An organized HR department leads to jobs getting done faster and fewer mistakes, which in turn will fuel an improved efficiency throughout the rest of the business.
Getting the Most from Your HR Department
The effectiveness of your HR department impacts all other areas of your business. By improving things like employee retention, the hiring process, and internal communications, your entire business will become more efficient. This all starts from having the right leader at the head of the HR department, as their qualities impact how well the department runs. So if you want to get the most from this department – and drive business efficiency as a result – it’s essential that you either hire a great HR manager or work to develop the skills of your current one.