Leadership starts with HR Skills

This article is contributed by Paul Ellett.

A Manager’s Dream

Every manager likes to think that their employees are delighted with every aspect of their job, and are content with the management support they receive each and every day. Unfortunately this cannot always be the case.

what does the smile hide

In smaller businesses, any queries or problems experienced by staff can usually be quickly spotted by management and a suitable resolution found. In an ideal world, the disgruntled staff would shake hands with their boss, walk back to their desk and continue working. But perhaps the staff member isn’t disgruntled and such a term is too harsh to capture what they feel.  It may just be a niggling feeling that more could be done by their superiors to help them get the most out of their assigned tasks so as to benefit the company as a whole.

Not Enough Hours in a Day

In many cases, seeking out improved HR tools and services isn’t a sign or an indictment that a business is failing, but simply indicates a belief that they can do better, especially from the perspective of their staff. Performance appraisals and skills training can bring benefits for all sizes of companies.  As was mentioned, in a small company, the sole  manager can see from their desk all their staff, knows all their names and even those of their pets.  It may not be as obvious why human resource services could be useful or even necessary in small companies.

Looking at this from the perspective of a much larger company which employs a thousand staff in one building alone, the difficulties become more apparent. There’s not nearly enough time to remember all those pets’ names, for one thing!

With such a spectrum of tasks, responsibilities, functions and skills across the board, the individual experience of one employee as compared with another can be vastly different. Managers may have reached their present position in the organizaton at a time when all these functions didn’t even exist, so they have no idea of the daily struggles for those employees, nor the proper support they require.

It’s not all completely negative but bad situations may arise.  In a large work force, some can fall through the cracks when it comes to getting their voice heard.That may sound a little dramatic.  It isn’t to say that this “voice” will be some kind of whistle blower who’ll create a mutiny and should be quashed.  Rather better human resource activities will bring to light some of the problems that they are experiencing which management ought to understand and which they can often easily fix or amend.

A Manager On The Road

In some companies, because of their business strategy, there may only be a few staff on board while the manager is required to be on the road a lot, and can’t spare as much time in the office. Perhaps to sustain the business, close interactions and face-to-face consultations with clients/customers are required. If there are a lot of clients, that can entail a lot of miles on the road, especially where there are national or even international clients. It can be impossible to make it back to the office before your staff leave, to address their problems or queries of the day.  This is when problems can build up. As a result, working away from the office creates its own special problems.

This was the situation in a previous job, where I contacted managers who had business accounts to find out about their experience.  A lot of the time they were out of the office, meetings often overran or they had difficulties getting back to the office when they had initially planned to do so. It’s a common occurrence but is very often necessary, especially when chasing new leads and new business, or just holding on to current clients by showing your face. The unfortunate side-effect is that their own staff see less of them than is needed.

Identifying what is going right

HR tools and services do not just indicate  where improvement can be made.  Sometimes it can highlight areas where your business is excelling, or particular staff who are being under-appreciated for their fine work. If you can pick out these successful components, you can make sure they are recognized for their achievements and apply what is working for them across the board.

Author Bio: Paul Ellett has worked in companies of varying sizes, and along the way has witnessed management  who are unaware of both positive and negative areas, within their operations. He writes for Talent Innovations who provide HR Tools and related services.  He is currently working on projects concerning how businesses can become more efficient in their energy-utilization.

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